KLUANG: The Gemas-Johor Baru Electrified Double Track project is proceeding smoothly and has reached 85% completion, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

He said the project, expected to be completed by mid-2023, would enable the Electric Train Service (ETS) to be connected from Padang Besar, Perlis, to Johor Baru.

“The depot in Kempas is still being built and we need some time.

“The project will see us do a ‘partial completion’ method so that we can use its rail tracks for testing the ETS service.

“I think what’s important is that the project can go ahead as soon as possible so that ETS service can reach Johor,” the Transport Minister told reporters during a visit to the KTM Kluang station yesterday.

Dr Wee, who is the MCA president, was accompanied by the party’s candidate for the Kluang parliamentary seat Gan Ping Sieu.

Dr Wee said the ETS service was presently only available from Padang Besar to Gemas, adding that tickets were often sold out on this route.

“I think for the south, it needs to be completed. When the track is ready, the service can be expanded here,” he said.

Dr Wee also said the government plans to increase the number of new ETS coaches on the route, but added that this depended on the availability of funds.

He said that with the ETS, travellers from the north in Penang and Alor Setar could come to Kuala Lumpur without having to drive.

“We see that demand is quite high from users and I see the potential for carrying more passengers as this is a very popular mode of transportation. We have plans to add more ETS coaches to meet demand from users,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Wee, who is the incumbent Ayer Hitam MP, said Gan would help bring much development to Kluang if elected.

He added that the lawyer was a former deputy minister and had good leadership skills which would benefit Kluang folk.