Offer to build Labuan bridge if condition met
Published on: Saturday, June 27, 2015

Labuan: Yayasan Pendidikan Labuan (YPL), an economic investment vehicle linked with Labuan Corporation (LC), is willing to undertake the mega Labuan-Menumbok bridge project provided the foundation is granted rights to reclaim a sizeable acreage of land.This proposal was made by Datuk Rozman Isli who is both the Member of Parliament and Chairman of LC when he led a delegation of LC board of directors and officers to meet Datuk Seri Wahid Omar, the Minister in charge of Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under the Prime Minister's department.

"Our proposal was that with the right to reclaim some 5,000 acres or so, we could open up a new development site for private investors and the funds generated from it could help finance the bridge.

"Whichever way we look, the bridge is an essential link for the island. It would be a game-changer once the project becomes a reality. With the bridge in place, other developments would follow, Labuan market would be expanded and integrated into the development of Sabah and Sarawak which is going to be linked with the Pan-Borneo highway. With the bridge there is no danger of Labuan being left cut from the major developments happening around", he said.

He noted that since Labuan was federalised in 1984 it could not be disputed the development and changes have taken place on the island but so had other towns and cities. Rozman said the State Government federalised Labuan with the expectation that Labuan would gradually become an "International class" city meeting all standards.

He said the 11th Malaysia Plan was the final phase before Malaysia attained developed status. 'There should be projects of high impact put in place now so that it could push Labuan ahead at the expected pace and help it stay abreast with others and the bridge was the solution."

The Labuan Bridge was proposed more than 20 years ago under the Labuan Master Development Plan (1997) and feasibility studies conducted showed that the project was viable and recommended that it be built. Due to delays, the original estimated cost of the project had now almost doubled from RM3 billion to RM5 billion.

Rozman feared that any further indecision would result in higher costs in future.

Once the bridge is completed it would take only about 10 minutes of smooth drive across the channel. The lengthy of bridge would be 12km.

YPL which was formed during the era of the past MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman had been lying dormant over the years. It was recently activated to help speed up the island economic development and it has hoped that through YPL Labuan would be empowered. YPL is headed by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor while Rozman is the Executive Chairman of the council which has seven mostly local members.

It commenced business with a seed money of RM1 million but in launching the foundation here last February, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak promised a further RM2 million to boost the level of education and human capital.

Rozman explained that the meeting with EPU was to impress the unit of Labuan's plans and the people's expectation from the 11th MP. He added the bridge was in line with Labuan's new comprehensive integrated blueprint.


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