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#10MP* Multimodal transport network to be further developed

KUALA LUMPUR: A multimodal transportation network will be further developed under the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) to improve trade efficiency and enhance the logistic systems.

According to the 10MP report, about RM2.7 billion will be invested to build roads and rail leading to key ports and airports while logistic management will be improved to raise cargo transportation efficiency.

The East Coast Highway from Kuantan to Kuala Terengganu will be completed in 2012, which, coupled with the expansion of Kuantan Port, will provide the basic infrastructure for trade activities and cargo movement along the East Coast corridor of Peninsular Malaysia.

The Second Penang Bridge when completed, will provide better connectivity and accessibility to the Penang International Airport, thus boosting the state's economic growth. Similarly, the South Klang Valley Exopressway, expected to be completed in 2012, will provide a second access to Westport of Port Klang.

On rail development, the report says the electrified double-track railway project will be extended to Johor Baru to complete the network and improve operational efficiency, besides facilitating greater freight rail movement and
relieve congestion on roads.

When this RM16.5 billion project from Johor Baru in the south to Padang Besar in Perlis in the north is completed, the share of freight volume by rail is expected to rise from 1.3 per cent currently to 10 per cent in 2015, hence
reducing transportation costs.

In addition, a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system covering a 20km radius from the Kuala Lumpur city centre will be implemented and is expected to run two million passenger-trips per day when completed.

As for maritime infrastructure, it will be upgraded to ensure competitiveness of Malaysia's ports, with the government spending RM1 billion on dredging of port channels to cater for bigger vessels and upgrading works at
Westport in Selangor and Port of Tanjung Pelepas in Johor for added capacity.

Key private investments during the Plan period include upgrading works of Westport, Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Penang Port, totalling RM6 billion.

On airports, the report says their capacities needed to be increased at an estimated cost of RM3.3 billion as the number of flight passenger arrivals is expected to increase from 47 million in 2008 to 62 million by 2015.

A new low-cost carrier terminal will be built at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to cater for the rising number of flights, while the Penang International Airport will be upgraded to support the development of the Northern Corridor Economic Region.- Bernama
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