KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 17 The government will undertake a study on how to ensure Malaysia's rail system is fully utilised.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government would also seek advice from specialists in Japan to emulate the Tokyo Station's efficiency and high usage.
We invest in building trains, but it is not fully utilised. Rail is a big investment and must be used as frequently as possible.
We will seek the advice of specialists from Japan for the rail journey programme together with freight or passengers, he told a press conference after launching the National Transport Policy 2019-2030 here today.
Dr Mahathir also encouraged the usage of trains for companies to carry heavy goods, as opposed to roads, as this could lower the possibility of accidents.
He also said that there is a need to have a designated point at train stations to secure these goods.
We hope that in the future, our rail system will be as progressive as that of Japan and South Korea. Our aim is to reduce the use of private vehicles on roads and increase the usage of rail, particularly over long distances.
If there is a need to increase railways lines, we will do it. The private sector is also invited to propose and invest as well as rent existing tracks. The government welcomes more rail operators in Malaysia, he added.
He said the presence of multi-rail operators would not have any impact on the operations of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB), considering it would get a fee from the use of railway lines.
Citing an example, he said YTL Corporation operates luxury trains from Singapore to Bangkok, which goes through Malaysia's railway line.
They pay a fee for using the line. If there are more companies wanting to use the rail for freight or passengers, this can be done, Dr Mahathir added.
Source: Office of the Prime Minster Malaysia