The implementation of light rail transit (LRT) will open up more land for affordable housing development, says Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers' Association (Sheda) Kuching advisor Sim Kiang Chiok.
"With the implementation of the LRT, I can foresee that Kuching will be more competitive, efficient and much more livable city that will naturally attract more economic activities, increase employment opportunities, better quality of life while reducing the cost of living" Sim said here yesterday.
He said the announcement by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on Thursday on the commencement of the design and the construction of Phase 1 of the Kuching LRT next year, under a Government Linked Company, Metro Sarawak, is a much welcome news by most people here.
"The LRT will bring much convenience, economic benefits, reduce the cost of living and doing business, more business opportunities will be created, and specifically in the property development greater increase in the supply of land through the accessibility created by LRT.
"New business and industrial areas will also be created and thus a bigger area of Kuching City can be developed. On top of that travelling time from one area to another will be greatly reduced, making Kuching more accessible for dwelling and economic activities. In short, Kuching City will grow at a greater pace with LRT" said Sim.
He pointed out that, within the LRT area, the people will have a better quality of life as it will reduce traffics jams.
"For example, Serian residents can now consider working at our Kuching port and industrial area without having to live in Kuching, thus opening up their employment opportunities. The same goes for students in Samarahan, they can stay nearer to Kuching and travel by LRT for their lessons without having to drive, this way, it will reduce their travel time and saving fuel" he stressed.
He reiterated that with the implementation of the LRT by 2024, vehicle ownership could drop as it would greatly improve public transportation.
"It will also reduce the traffic jams on our roads especially during peak hours" he said.
Sim further said that the LRT project will attract more foreign tourists and investors to come to Kuching as it will become a convenience city comparable to most major cities like KL or even Singapore.
"The younger generation will like to stay on to develop Kuching with much more business possibilities and employment created by the LRT. And when economic activities are increased it will create new wealth and it will also attract rural-urban migration that would create more demand for houses and commercial properties" he stressed.