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Sarawak govt exploring latest train tech

Image Credits: The Malay Mail, News Article

The state government of Sarawak is exploring the option of employing the latest train technology from China as a solution for greater Kuching urban transportation system, according to the state’s Chief Minister.

It was noted that the Chinese technology could reduce the costs of implementing the urban transportation system in greater Kuching consisting of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian districts.

The Chief Minister and members of his delegation viewed the deployment of the Autonomous Rapid Transit (ART) system that forms part of Nanchang’s urban transportation system.

The ART might be able to reduce the costs of implementing lines as trains, which use the latest technology, can run on non-elevated normal or dedicated roads. The proposed routes of greater Kuching urban transportation system are Kuching-Samarahan and Kuching-Serian lines.

The ART does not run on conventional rail tracks but on a virtual track that can be on a dedicated, or regular, existing roads and controlled by a central command centre.

The CM and members of his delegation were actually taken on a ride on the train along a 5km-line through the city to have the first-hand experience on the ART that can be powered by electricity or hydrogen.

Later, they were taken on a tour of the production facility near the city before attending a briefing on the tech.

Among those accompanying the Chief Minister were the Assistant Minister for Transportation and the Chairman of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).

Sarawak has often made headlines for its forward-thinking government and openness to technological solutions.

For example, OpenGov Asia reported that Sarawak is pushing grow its digital economy via investment in 5G telecommunications technology, IoT, AI, Voice Recognition, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR).

Sarawak is working to avoid being left behind in terms of digital technology adoption and digital economic growth – all of which will benefit the citizens in many ways. In fact, some may consider the Malaysian on par with developed countries in regards to the digital journey.

This global digital journey is often characterised as the world experiencing more intricate and complex technological terms, including 5G telecommunications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Voice Recognition, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR).

Sarawak’s Chief Minister stated that the choice is between pushing ahead in new research areas or always being a follower without being able to bring much progress to Malaysia and its citizens. Elaborating further, it was noted that there are so many other benefits of the digital economy, which almost every country in this world is forgoing into, and Sarawak had even charted its strategies and action plans which were currently in the early stage of implementation.

Some of the Sarawak’s early initiatives to implement its digital economy strategies are the state’s digital government, manufacturing, smart city, tourism, agriculture and e-commerce.

As for the digital government initiative, an online identification and authentication system known as ‘Sarawak ID’ has been implemented to enable the public to access and use the various online services or application systems of the Sarawak government.

The chief minister noted that 1 July 2019, the number of Sarawak ID registered users stood at 208,644 with 20 government services had been made accessible online.

The variety of projects being developed and implemented in Sarawak have created over 104,000 employment opportunities in the state, mainly in the natural gas, chemical and chemical products, basic metal products, electronics and electrical products, wood and wood products sectors.

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