SARAWAK Metro Sdn Bhd (Sarawak Metro) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC).
Incorporated in February 2018, it was set up to specifically undertake the development of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS).
The company is headed by its chief executive officer, Mazli Mustaffa, who has more than 22 years of experience in the railway and urban transportation industry, having worked on mega projects locally and overseas.
Starting its operation in September 2019, Sarawak Metro currently has a workforce of more than 40, skilled in various disciplines.
At the heart of KUTS will be the ART system that will form the backbone of the public road transport in the state’s capital city and the Greater Kuching area.
Sarawak Metro is the implementer of the KUTS project and the ART system, similar to MRT Corp’s and Prasarana’s role for the public transport systems in Peninsular Malaysia.
What is (KUTS)?
KUTS is a government-initiated project which is established in line with the state’s digital transformation agenda and the development of the Smart City initiative in addressing the need for a modern public transportation system.
Sarawak Metro has engaged with Sarawak Multimedia Authority and other state government agencies to ensure that KUTS development is in line with the digital transformation agenda and the overall development plans of the state.
It has also embarked on the Environmental, Social and Heritage Impact Assessment (ESHIA) to minimise the environmental and social impact of the project as well as to ensure that places or areas with important heritage value for the city and state will be protected during the development of KUTS.
The core of the KUTS project, which would be developed in stages, is the introduction of the ART system and phase one of KUTS will involve the construction of two urban lines.
Line 1, which is the Blue Line, will be from Rembus in Kota Samarahan to Hikmah Exchange, covering a distance of 27km with stops at 14 stations. Line 2 (Red Line), will be from Mile 12 Kuching-Serian Road, to The Isthmus, a distance of 23.4km with stops at 13 stations.
Both lines will be constructed at-grade (on road level) and elevated; and the first and the last mile connection for the stations will be serviced by the hydrogen powered buses.
Objectives and benefits of KUTS
KUTS will serve as the backbone system to minimise and alleviate traffic congestion towards the city centre.
It will create more economic opportunities, enable trade and facilitate access to markets and services and reduce traffic jams.
It will also improve connectivity via efficient and integrated public transportation system and enhance quality of life and provide easy traversing and linking of dense residential areas, businesses, industrial areas, higher learning institutions, and places of interest.
KUTS will introduce and promote green technology via adoption of hydrogen powered rolling stock and feeder buses, create job opportunities and encourage participation of other public transport providers that complement the ART system.
MAZLI MUSTAFFA (Chief Executive Officer)
• 22 years of experience in railway and urban transportation industry
• Eight years in MRT Corporation
• Had worked in United Arab Emirate in railway and metro projects
• A Fellow Member of Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE), UK
• Member of the Permanent Way Institution (PWI), Malaysia
• Graduate Member of Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM)
“This is a government initiative project and we have the mandate to realise this project into reality and serve its main objective of alleviating traffic congestion in Greater Kuching area.
This project also provides a platform for the introduction and promotion of the green hydrogen technology in public transport.”
Public support is vital in ensuring the smooth and successful implementation of this project.”
ZAFRIN ZAKARIAH (Project Director)
• Has about 30 years of experience in construction, infrastructure development and railway industry
• Had worked in Mumbai in India and Colombo in Sri Lanka previously
• A Graduate Member of Institute of Engineers, Malaysia (IEM)
• A member of Board of Engineers, Malaysia (BEM)
“We are really excited in embarking in this KUTS project as it will improve the public transportation scenario in Kuching city.”
HENRY MAYOT (Senior Project Manager, Communication System) (KUTS)
• Has more than 20 years of experience in communication system
• All this while been working in Kuala Lumpur and overseas like in Indonesia, Korea and Australia
• Purposely returned to Sarawak to work with Sarawak Metro to share his experience in developing the KUTS project
“I am fortunate to have worked in two of the mega railway projects in Malaysia– Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT) for Putrajaya Line & the Kajang Line and I have gained so much knowledge and experience from these projects. I was actively involved in the tender preparation, tender evaluation, design, supplier and material selection, system and civil interface, construction as well as testing and commissioning.
These experiences are extremely useful for me as it makes me well-prepared when ART KUTS project goes through the same cycle.
I would like to see more Sarawakian with the right expertise and knowledge to come back and start working here and to be part of this exciting history.”
ALICE SANDAH (Project Manager- Civil) (KUTS)
• Worked in Semenanjung immediately after graduating
• Past experience includes working on the Klang Valley LRT Line 3; extension of the Ampang LRT line; Klang Valley MRT Line 1.
“When I was involved in railway projects such as Light Rapid Transit (LRT) Ampang Extension Line and Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (KVMRT), the nature of work for this fast-paced project is very tough as you need to be on-call 24/7, be on-site during odd hours and managing client’s expectation, deliverables and timelines. That was challenging.
I decided to come back to Sarawak in the middle of 2019 when I have an opportunity to work with one of Pan Borneo Highway contractor. Although the salary is not as attractive as in West Malaysia, I can still manage as the standard of living is lower here.
The most important thing is, I can be nearer to my family and enjoy my favourite local cuisine as much as I could. Looking back at what I have gone through, I realised that coming back to my own hometown is the best decision I have made in my career path.”
PRISCILLA ANNABEL BISOP (Manager – Socio Economic Enhancement and Development Programme) (SEED)
• Began career with Malaysia Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT), Cyberjaya, Selangor and worked there since 2008 immediately after graduation
• Been with MIGHT for more than 10 years and was very much involved on research and consultancy services for industrial development and high technologies area
• Task and responsibilities include industrial monitoring; engaging with stakeholders of various background; planning and implementation as well as involvement in projects that are related to industrial development
“This KUTS project is very much anticipated by the public as it will not improve mobility but also boost the economic activities especially along the transit corridor.
My experience working outside of Sarawak has not only toughen me from being a shy person to become more confident and independent but has also broaden my outlook of things around me.”