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High-speed Rail in p'sula but this for Sabah?
Published on: Sunday, July 22, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: A train passenger who recently went for a water rafting excursion at Padas river was shocked to find many passengers, including foreign tourists, sitting on the floor of the cargo area due to lack of seats in the main cabins.

"The train carriage I was on to get to Pangi from Beaufort was in very poor state.

I felt pity for those old villagers who have no choice but to join the rest sitting on the floor," said the Daily Express reader who wished to remain anonymous.

He hoped new Chief Minister Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal would be able to do "something about this embarrassment to Sabah".

He said the old folks he talked to said they long accepted the fact of having to sit on the floor throughout the journey.

"There is talk about HSR (High Speed Rail) costing RM55 billion from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore but nothing was done by the previous government despite tourism being one of the Halatuju and Sabah a fixed deposit State.

"It's time to give these poor rural folks something they deserve which is to sit comfortably on a proper seat on the train and not like citizens in some Third World nation.

"They shouldn't be allowed to give up hope of better comfort just because they have been facing the same ordeal on daily basis," he said, adding that most of them are using the train to transport their hard-earned produce to town in Beaufort or Tenom.

As for tourism, he said he found out the poor train condition substantially reduced the number of tourists going to the water rafting site.

"A few tour agents told me they are reluctant to promote the rafting activity overseas due to the embarrassing train condition." He said the railway track is still based on old colonial era which is small in dimension.

"Any modern train design can no longer run on such small width tracks as their width have to be upgraded to accommodate newer train carriages," he added. - Oliver Voon

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