Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said if not now, the government would still have to do it eventually as the existing public transport system would not be able to cope with the rapid population increase.
"Our roads have become increasingly congested as each year almost a million new vehicles are registered, resulting in many public complaints on congestion and discomfort.
"That is why this public transport system upgrading initiative is very important, particularly for Greater KL as this area alone has more than five million residents," he said when winding up the debate on the Supply Bill 2011 for his ministry in the Dewan Negara on Tuesday, Dec 21.
The MRT, the biggest infrastructure project in Malaysia, is an entry point project for the National Key Result Area (NKRA)-Greater Kuala Lumpur/Klang Valley under the Economic Transformation Programme.
The project is expected to start in July next year and will take five to six years to complete, with the first route linking Sungai Buloh and Kajang via the city centre.
Abdul Rahim said if the government delayed in providing a suitable, modern public transport system, the cost would go up in future and be a bigger financial loss for the country.
"We cannot delay this project as other countries in the region like Singapore with its MRT system, and China, its high-speed trains, are advanced in this field."
He said the public must think positively about the project aimed at further improving the public transport system which would not only benefit the local population but foreign tourists as well. — Bernama
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