Kedah GLC collaborating with South Korean firm to study LRT development in Langkawi

ALOR STAR: State-owned Permodalan Kedah Bhd (PKB) is collaborating with South Korea's Royal Eco Train Development (RETD) to study the development of a Light Rapid Transit (LRT) system in Kedah's tourism jewel of Langkawi.

The proposed LRT system will adopt an eco-friendly Maglev concept, a state-of-the-art transport system that utilises magnetic propulsion.

The renowned technology developed by the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) has been deployed at South Korea's Incheon Airport.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) inked today between PKB, RETD and Qplex – the South Korean company's strategic partner in Malaysia – the study would also include the development of innovative stations designed within the principles of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD).

State Industry and Investment, Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Committee chairman Dr Haim Hilman Abdullah said RTED would take between three to six months to study the project's technical, geography and economic impact on locals.

"The findings will be used to decide on the (LRT) alignment, stations and related infrastructure, but fundamentally, we are proposing to develop the service from the Kuah Passenger Ferry Terminal to Pantai Chenang.

"The project will be developed in phases before being expanded to other destinations in Langkawi so that we will have the best public transport system in Asia or the world," he said after witnessing the MoU signing ceremony between the three companies at Wisma Darul Aman here today.

Present was Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.

PKB was represented by its chief executive officer (CEO) Mohd Azad Jasmi. RETD was represented by CEO Lee Changwook and Q-Plex was represented by CEO Datuk Mohamed Tiar Sharif.

Haim Hilman added that the proposal would take into account Langkawi's requirement to upgrade its transport system to retain its position as a preferred tourist destination.

"By enhancing Kedah's tourism infrastructure, it will elevate the region's appeal to tourists, both domestic and international, thereby creating a ripple effect of job opportunities across various sectors.

"Therefore, RETD will begin with the development of innovative stations based on the TOD principle. The stations will prioritise eco-friendly designs and operations, fostering a potential hub for wellbeing within the local society.

"The exact features of each station will be carefully tailored based on in-depth feasibility studies, ensuring they provide the best possible experience for visitors and the greatest benefits to the region."

Haim Hilman said RETD would also carry out studies on the development of commercial centres at transit stations in line with the company's expertise in the new development concept.

"The LRT project is part of the developments mooted by Sanusi under the Kedah Development Plan 2035," he said.

PKB in a statement said the TOD approach, as seen in successful projects like Sentosa Island in Singapore, would promote walkability, sustainable transportation and a vibrant mix of uses, enhancing the overall appeal of the area and potentially fostering a healthier and more connected community.

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