New KK mayor aims to modernise parking, public transport

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Dr Sabin Samitah has set his sights on modernising the city’s parking system as his first order of business as mayor.

The former Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) chief executive officer said many of the main cities in the country have shifted to a digital system instead of the current scratch cards currently in use in the Sabah capital.

“I am aware of several proposals to modernise the parking system in the city, doing away with the cards,” he said, after a handing over of duties ceremony here on Friday (Jan 5).

“However, I have to look at Kota Kinabalu City Hall’s (DBKK) contract with the firm implementing the present system.

“What is certain is, we will be moving towards… a digitalised system,” he added.

Sabin officially took over from outgoing mayor Datuk Noorliza Awang Alip in a ceremony witnessed by State Secretary Datuk Seri Safar Untong at the DBKK office.

Another aspect he wished to bring change to, he said, was a centralised public transportation system.

“Any location with a city status prioritises transportation (that is centralised), so, in Kota Kinabalu, I will see what obstructions have kept this from being implemented.

“It could be budgetary (among others), but we are heading towards… preparing a seamless system in Kota Kinabalu,” he said.

The mayor said he also wanted to encourage development in the city to stimulate the economy, focusing on businesses, including small traders.

“DBKK will… expedite the approval of development plans and, when necessary, see what is slowing them (approvals) down.

“We will also grant licences (to traders) if they are eligible and qualified, (and look into) why some lack or don’t want licences.

“We will step up enforcement, but this does not mean enforcing the rules stringently without listening to their problems,” Sabin said.

Sabin began his stint as mayor earlier with a walkabout at open food courts and night markets on Thursday (Jan 4).

He told the media he was “excited” to be appointed to look after Kota Kinabalu, adding he aspired to serve city dwellers and the business community to the best of his abilities.

He said thefts and the unstable water supply were among the grouses expressed to him during the walkabout.

He gave an assurance that DBKK would act to improve security in the areas concerned and also called for cooperation from traders’ groups.

Sabin is Kota Kinabalu’s seventh mayor since it gained city status on Feb 2, 2000.

He served as LHDN chief from 2016 to 2021. He was also director-general of the National Anti-Financial Crime Centre in the Prime Minister’s Department.

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