Railways Enactment approved
Published on: Saturday, November 25, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: The State Legislative Assembly has approved the Railways Enactment 2017 to replace the 103-year-old Railways Ordinance that had been enforced since 1914.The enactment is hoped to drive the railway service in the State towards new levels in accordance with the change of times, public needs and expectations.

Infrastructure Development Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, when tabling the bill on Thursday, said people can now look forward to a better quality railway service in the State.

"All our dreams will be fulfilled, including the proposed Trans-Borneo Railway. We have realised that the laws in the past could not give us the space and strength to take our railway service to a higher level.

"It's therefore high time that the Sabah Railways Ordinance be replaced with new laws which are more effective and comprehensive," he said.

He pointed out that currently the rail service is only limited between Tanjung Aru station and Tenom through Beaufort, covering a distance of 134km.

There are plans he said to expand the rail service across the State.

He noted that the new laws are also timely to meet the increasing popularity of the service, including among tourists.

The State Government will work closely with the Federal Government regarding funding to meet the high cost involved to develop the railway sector in the State, he added.

The enactment will be enforced from January 2 next year.

He later tabled another bill, the Sewerage Services Enactment 2017, which was also passed by the assembly.

With the new laws, the Public Works Department is now the implementing agency that takes over all matters concerning sewerage from local authorities in the State.

Pairin reminded members of the assembly that the move does not promise a quick solution to the longstanding sewerage problem throughout the State.

"Everyone is concerned and wants solution. One of the reasons why this Bill is tabled is to find a solution and to have one entity that focuses on the problem. So, the State Government gives the responsibility to the PWD.

But it doesn't mean that it can be solved by the snap of the finger," he said. - Leonard Alaza


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