Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Bung Moktar Radin has revealed that the proposal to build a rapid transit system, dubbed the Skytrain, in Kota Kinabalu has entered its exploration phase. The Skytrain is planned to connect the Kota Kinabalu International Airport to a new development, and involves two phases.
The project, proposed by Bung last year, now has a memorandum of understanding between four firms involving a subsidiary of state investment arm Qhazanah Sabah. In addition, Warisan Harta Sdn Bhd (WVSB), Vizione Construction Sdn Bhd, Sycal Skycity Sdn Bhd, and Guangcai China (M) Sdn Bhd have signed a partnership to not only build the first transit system in Borneo, but to also build a mixed commercial development called Jesselton New City.
The first phase of the Skytrain will span a distance of 10.5km from the airport to the city centre at a cost of RM1 billion. The second phase, to be known as KKIA Express Line 2, will span 15km from the Jesselton Central terminal to the State government administrative centre, as well as the Federal administrative centre, University Malaysia Sabah, and finally the Alamesra commercial and residential area — the second line will cost RM1.425 billion.
Both phases will take three years each to be built, and will be privately funded by investors. As for Jesselton New City, the development is valued at RM5 billion and will be completed in six years. It will be built in Likas and will include a resort, theme park, and a cruise ship harbour.
Bung said that reclamation works will be minimal and the project will go through the required environmental impact assessments. He also claimed that the Skytrain will be similar to the one in China and will run on solar power. The deputy chief minister added that the ground-breaking ceremony is currently being planned for February next year.