Posted on 28 Jul 2023
Source of News: The Borneo Post

KUCHING (July 28): Sarawak’s first hydrogen-powered autonomous rapid transit (ART) smart tram will be named ‘Bulan’ after the state’s first locomotive during the reign of Rajah Charles Brooke here.

This was revealed by Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg at the opening ceremony of the Pertubuhan Anak Seni Bandarsah Kuching (PASBK) building tonight.

He said naming the state’s first ART smart tram as ‘Bulan’ would be a reminder of the significant history of Sarawak’s old railway line which used to serve Kuching in the early part of the 20th century at Jalan Keretapi which is now known as Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi.

The Sarawak Government Railway’s first locomotive ‘Bulan’ operated from 1841 until 1946, and later disappeared during the Japanese occupation.

“The ART which will connect Samarahan to Kuching will pass through the old railway road, which used to be called Jalan Keretapi, now it is Jalan Tun Ahmad Zaidi.

“In the past, that road used to have three trains, and one of the trains was named Bulan, and the other one named Bintang. So our first ART will be named Bulan,” he said in his speech.

Abang Johari said the highly anticipated ART smart tram which is scheduled to be delivered to Kuching by the second quarter of this year would become a major milestone for the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) project.

He believes that this would change the whole landscape of Kuching city in the future.

According to him, the current Padang Pasir parking lot at Jalan Haji Taha here in the city would become an ART station, similar to Kuala Lumpur Sentral, which will serve as the transit hub for Kuching city.


“Once Padang Pasir develops into something like Kuching Sentral and KL Sentral, that will be the main boarding platform for our ART.

“ART is modern transportation, and it is not a train. It moves using wheels with the use of new technology. It cruises along the line on the road, autonomously using hydrogen, which does not emit carbon like old bus number seven.

“There will be a bus stop in front of the house. And our public transport is the first in the Asean region to use hydrogen. This is the future of public transportation.


“Alhamdulillah, everything progressing well, and of course this reflects our development,” he said.

Among those present were Deputy State Secretary (Economic and Development Planning) Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel, Satok assemblyman Datuk Ibrahim Baki, Tanjung Datu assemblyman Azizul Annuar Adenan, PASBK chairman Abdul Rahman Zainuddin and PASBK advisor Datuk Abdul Karim Tun Abang Openg.

The Borneo Post