Viability of Melaka Aerorail questioned in Assembly

TRANSIT notes that a question about the viability of the Melaka Aerorail was raised in the Melaka Assembly, along with a motion to scrap the project.

Melaka Assembly Rejects Motion To Scrap Aerorail Project
August 05, 2009 20:41 PM

MELAKA, Aug 5 (Bernama) — The Melaka government should review the RM1.5 billion aerorail project as it is not practical and unnecessary, the state assembly was told Wednesday.

Lim Jak Wong (DAP-Bachang) said each kilometre of the 18.4km route between the city and Melaka Zoo in Ayer Keroh would cost RM81.5 million.

The roads linking the city to Ayer Keroh are not congested except on weekends and public holidays, he added when presenting a motion calling for the project to be scrapped.

The aerorail will be built in two phases and the construction work will start in the first quarter next year with a capital investment of RM586 million, while the second phase will cost RM807 million.

Lim said he believed the project would suffer losses like the panorama buses introduced by the Melaka Historic City Council (MBMB) two years ago.

In his reply, Melaka Transport, Information and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman R.Perumal (BN-Asahan) said the private-finance initiative project was viable.

He said it would not only boost tourism but would enhance Melaka’s image.

“If the project is successful, it will be extended to Jasin and Alor Gajah,” [TRANSIT: We will look for a clarification of this comment] he said, adding that 80 per cent of 198 respondents who visited an exhibition on the project supported it. [TRANSIT: We’ll look for this survey]

The majority of assemblymen voted against the motion.

The sitting was adjourned until a date to be fixed later.

— BERNAMA

TRANSIT Says:

The role of wakil rakyat is to act as the representatives of the people, meaning that they need to ask tough questions of their government. 

It does not matter if they are part of the governing party or the opposition. At their core, all wakil rakyat are people’s representatives and responsible to the people who elected them.

So we are happy to see that the Melaka Aerorail has been discussed in the State Assembly. We also hope that the government of Melaka will still consider that the project, by itself, does not meet the public transport needs of the City of Melaka or the Melaka Tengah (Middle Malacca) district.

The suggestion that the Aerorail might be expanded to Alor Gajah and Jasin deserves clarification.  A bus rapid transit system along the AMJ highway in Melaka could probably accomplish the public transport needs at a fraction of the cost of the Aerorail.

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