MRT Kajang Line – Taman Pertama station in Cheras

The MRT3 Circle Line has been approved by the government. This was confirmed by prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob late last week. Transport minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said in April 2021 that MRT3 – previously suspended by the Pakatan Harapan administration – is a go.

The PM said that priorities for the project would be given to local contractors, especially Bumiputera ones to generate business opportunities as well as create employment opportunities. “The implementation of this project will drive the country’s economic growth and development, in line with the objective of the government to empower the business sector as well as creating 600,000 jobs this year,” he said.

“The government has decided to approve the implementation of the MRT3 project to complete the existing public transportation infrastructure in the Klang Valley by providing integrated transportation system that is affordable for the people,” the Bera MP added.

In a March 4 statement, MRT Corp thanked the PM for the approval. “As project developer and asset owner of the MRT3 Circle Line project, MRT Corp will continue to give priority to local contractors, including Bumiputera players, in order to create business and job opportunities for Keluarga Malaysia,” said MRT Corp CEO Datuk Mohd Zarif Hashim.

The statement said that this will be achieved through greater emphasis on local rail system technologies, Industrialised Building System (IBS) and Building Information Modelling (BIM) solutions and upgrading of expertise and skill sets through various programmes such as technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

Mohd Zarif added that the MRT3 project is envisaged to catalyse socio-economic growth throughout the country, increase the nation’s competitiveness in the region and uplift the well-being of Keluarga Malaysia, referencing Ismail Sabri’s slogan.

MRT Putrajaya Line – Metro Prima station in Kepong

The MRT3 is set to be the finishing piece in the Klang Valley’s rail public transport network. The loop line will be around 50 km-long, running along the perimeter of KL city and linking together places that aren’t connected in the current “spokes”. I’m thinking of Tokyo’s indispensable Yamanote Line – have you been on that?

It was revealed in April last year that MRT Corp is looking at 30 stations for the Circle Line, including some 10 interchanges with existing rail lines. Some of the proposed stations are Bukit Kiara, INTAN (National Institute of Public Administration), Sri Hartamas, Mont Kiara, Jalan Duta, Matrade, Jalan Kuching, Sentul West, Sentul East, Ayer Panas, Semarak, Setiawangsa, Ampang Point, Desa Pandan, Pandan Indah, Taman Perdana, Taman Midah, Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz UKM (previously known as HUKM), Kuchai Lama, Old Klang Road and Pantai Dalam.

It was also said then that 40% of the line will be underground. The project will be built in five phases over 10 years, but each completed phase will be able to operate independently, since the Circle Line links other stations/lines together. As for funding, MRT3 will be open to Private Funding Initiative (PFI), where local private players will part-fund the project.