Sarawak to upgrade river transport facilities

Goh Pei Pei

KUCHING: Sarawak government is to upgrade all river transport facilities to create a safe and user-friendly system.

Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said the state government was considering e-ticketing for express boats to avoid vessels being overloaded with passengers during festive seasons, particular Hari Gawai, Hari Raya and Christmas.

Currently, passengers are required to purchase their tickets at the terminal counter which caused a long queue and crowds at the terminal during peak season.

“Besides, e-ticketing can also ensure that boat operators do not overload their vessel with passengers,” he said.

“This is also in line with the state government’s aspiration to digitalise the state economy,” he added.

Speaking at the Sarawak River Board 25th Anniversary Celebration at the Kuching Waterfront here, Jerip said rivers also played an important role in the state’s tourism industry.

“We must continue to explore the potential of our rivers and river transport in the tourism aspect.

“A majority of people are taking river transport to return to their hometown in the rural areas which are not accessible via road.

“But we want to make it (river transport) a tourism product, to provide visitors a different vacation experience,” he said, adding that rivers must be preserved, protected and restored for the future generation.

“We need cooperation from everyone to ensure the safety of boats, cleanliness of the rivers and further promote river transport,” Jerip said. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd