Highway to Rakyat’s Hearts
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The rapid infrastructure development across the country is a clear signal the government remains focused on the well-being of the rakyat.
Among the core infrastructure projects, the government is undertaking to include the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), Pan Borneo Highway, East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail (HSR).
MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd Head of Research, Mohd Redza Abdul Rahman said these projects, scheduled for completion from 2022 onwards, were expected to provide plenty of benefits directly and indirectly.
"The (upcoming) infrastructure will (among others) reduce transportation cost of goods and this will result in closing the gaps in goods prices and availability of goods for the rural folks against urban dwellers" he said.
The construction of the Pan Borneo Highway will provide access to the rural areas, stimulating the economy while encouraging the relocation of manufacturing plants from urban to rural areas where land cost is cheaper.
The project also provides jobs for people and reduce migration to cities.
In the short term, Redza explained the construction works would provide employment to the locals, not only as labourers but also other professional jobs such as engineers, while in the long term, the development of new townships would subsequently spur other job opportunities for its inhabitants.
Slated for completion in 2023, the 706km Pan Borneo Highway will be upgraded from a two-lane dual carriageway to four-lane and include a bypass.
Meanwhile, ECRL improves connectivity between the west and east coasts and is expected to create 111,000 jobs by 2060.
The 688km rail project will cut travel time to four hours from 12 hours currently.
As for the HSR, Redza said the short travel time would allow people staying hundreds of kilometres away from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to work in these cities.
HSR, which will have terminals in Kuala Lumpur's Bandar Malaysia and Singapore's Jurong East, is slated to commence operations on Dec 31, 2026, and expected to cut travel time between two cities to 90 minutes