Govt obliged to build Labuan bridge: PKR
Published on: Friday, September 25, 2015

Labuan: The proposed Labuan-Menumbok bridge will remain a "dream" under Barisan Nasional (BN) rule but become a "reality" the moment there is a change of administration.PKR chief here Simsudin Sidek made this claim in reference to the renewed call by Umno here to implement the long-awaited project without further delay.

"If our candidate (Tan Sri Menudin Ibrahim) during the last general election had won and Putrajaya came under PR control, by now tenders for the bridge would have been awarded," said Simsudin.

"But, unfortunately, many voters fell for the proposed development propaganda promised by the BN and did not take us seriously even though we pledged the bridge under the election manifesto supported by an artistic rendition of the link. It is now for the voters to think for themselves whether they made the right choices."

He hoped Labuan voters would give PKR a chance to prove in the next general election.

He said the estimated cost of the bridge is said to be RM5 billion.

"The amount is big but we have to tackle the finance as stated by Sabah PKR Chief Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin. It could be done by raising the petroleum royalty for Sabah."

Simsudin also said he was doubtful that the BN government would ever build the bridge now since the Government's financial position was not strong.

"How could they do it now as they could not even when the economic condition was not gloomy," he said.

He felt the Government was obliged to undertake the project by whatever means considering that when Labuan was federalised there was no compensation paid to the island unlike Putrajaya.

Putrajaya, even though was federalised in 1995–11 years after Labuan, was way ahead of the island in many aspects, he said.

If the bridge was established, he added, it would stand out as a strong statement that Labuan was similarly treated like Putrajaya.

He went on to say that there was no valid reason to keep the bridge project "frozen" since 1997, when the Government could undertake massive projects like the Tun Razak Exchange (RM26 billion), Menara Wawasan (RM5 billion) and first phase of KL Metropolis (RM16 billion).

"These projects are said to be partly funded by the private sector. The same could be done for the Labuan bridge."

During the recent Umno delegates conference here, Labuan Umno chief-cum-Member of Parliament, in a rare outspokenness, questioned the reason for the delay in implementing the project since local residents had been fed with hopes of it over about 30 years.

Rozman felt that Labuan as a Federal Territory should be at least on par with Putrajaya in the context of development and his views were supported by Labuan PBS Chairman Datuk Peter Mak.

Last July, Rozman, leading a delegation of Labuan Corporation directors and senior officers, met the Minister-in-charge of EPU in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Wahid Omar, and stated LC, an economic vehicle under Yayasan Pendidikan Labuan (YPL), was willing to undertake the mega project provided it was given land reclamation rights.

Many feel that the bridge is important because without the "physical link" with Sabah, Labuan may not fit into the new regional development taken place, namely the Pan Borneo Highway.


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