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Thursday, 6 July 2017

(The Star) MB: Railroad restoration vital to MVV

SEREMBAN: The restoration of the abandoned 39km-long Seremban-Port Dickson railroad is vital to ensure the success of the multibillion-ringgit Malaysian Vision Valley (MVV) project.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (pic) said once rehabilitated, the railroad would expedite the movement of people and goods between the resort town and other parts of the peninsula.

“Since the federal authorities have agreed to revive the project under a private-public partnership initiative, it is our hope that it can be carried out soon,” he said.

Work to rehabilitate the second-oldest railway line in the country was supposed to have started last year.

The stretch was closed in July 2008 following the derailment of a freight train from Port Dickson to Ipoh.

Mohamad said it was, however, up to the federal authorities to decide on its partner for the project.

“Many companies have shown an interest in participating in the rail project,” he said.

Mohamad said the MVV project, to be developed over a 30-year-period at a gross value of RM640bil, would kick off at the end of the month with the launch of the RM413mil Nilai-Bandar Enstek road construction project.

“After that, we will start building the Seremban-KL International Air­port highway,” he said.

The MVV, which will be officially launched at the end of this year, straddles the districts of Seremban, Nilai and Port Dickson, and has been touted as a new economic corridor.

It is divided into residential, business, manufacturing and education-cum-sports clusters.

On a separate matter, Mohamad said he would table an enactment at the next state assembly meeting to, among other things, impose a custodial sentence on unauthorised individuals who bestowed honours, awards and titles, including Datuk­ships to the people.

“In Negri Sembilan, only the state Ruler or the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan and the state government have jurisdiction over such matters.

“No other individual is authorised to do so,” he said, adding that he would table the Bill on Aug 8.

Mohamad said it would be similar to the Offences Relating to the Awards Act 2016 passed by Parliament in November.

“We will use the Act as a template,” he said.

Under the Act, a maximum fine of RM10,000 or a jail term of up to three years awaits anyone found guilty of holding illegal investiture ceremonies and making or possessing unrecognised insignia.

Those soliciting for awards or trying to sell fake awards face up to 20 years in jail.