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Stable government needed to speed up Pan Borneo Highway
Published on: Saturday, November 19, 2022
By: Bernama
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Stable government needed to speed up Pan Borneo Highway
Political observer Tony Paridi Bagang believes that a stable government is important and necessary to speed up the implementation of a development project such as the Pan Borneo Highway so that the people can benefit from it.
SANDAKAN: The construction of the Pan Borneo Highway is a major development project that will benefit the people of Sabah who have long yearned for better road infrastructure.

The first phase of the project, which started in Sabah and Sarawak in 2016, was expected to be completed this year. In Sabah, the project is now over 60 per cent completed, while in Sarawak it is already over 85 per cent.

The change of government in the 14th General Election (GE14) was the earliest factor in delaying the project, including in Sabah, where the new state government Warisan Plus, together with Pakatan Harapan (PH) and United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (Upko), terminated the contract with the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) in 2019.

Only 26 months under the Warisan Plus administration in Sabah, the 16th State Election was held which saw BN, in collaboration with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), returned to power and resumed the project without delay.

On Nov 6, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob launched the eastern zone of the project, which covers the Sandakan-Kinabatangan-Beluran-Telupid stretch. The Federal Government also committed to completing the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway in 2024 through the Budget 2023 tabled on Oct 7.

Political observer Tony Paridi Bagang believes that a stable government is important and necessary to speed up the implementation of a development project such as the Pan Borneo Highway so that the people can benefit from it.

Sabah Universiti Teknologi Mara (UITM) senior lecturer at the Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies said a government, which understands the people’s aspirations and sees the need for an important project to be implemented urgently, should ensure that such projects are not delayed.

“Government stability is a crucial matter in the administration of a country. Any party that becomes the government needs to be stable so that every planning and implementation of development is carried out successfully,” he said.

Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, who is also State Works Minister, said the highway project was important to improve the efficiency of the road transport system in Sabah and solve the problems of road damage across the State.

As such, he said, BN should be given the mandate in GE15 so that the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway project would not be disrupted again as happened when PH took over the federal government after GE14.

“Only after the fall of PH, this project can continue more smoothly, and 

the government has already committed in the Budget 2023 to prioritise this project so that it will be fully completed in 2024.

“So, let’s not let this project be delayed again. The BN government has given assurances that it will speed up its 

implementation and for that reason, the people of Sabah need to win BN in GE15,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Works Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup said three of the 35 work packages under the first phase of the project in Sabah are expected to be fully completed by the end of this year, namely Package 27 comprising an 8.1km road from Kampung Lot M to Batu 32, Sandakan and Package 21 comprising the 7km Lahad Datu bypass road and Package 5 comprising an 11.39km road from Papar to Penampang.

The first phase of the project in Sabah involves 706km from Sindumin to Kota Kinabalu and then to Kudat, as well as Tawau to Batu 32, Sandakan and then to Ranau.

An oil palm entrepreneur, Rudee Abu Bakar, 45, from Beluran, who regularly uses the Pan Borneo Highway project route between Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan, wants the government formed after GE15 to speed up the completion of the project.

“Pan Borneo is a project from the old government (BN), it should have been continued by the government after that (PH). This project is very meaningful for the people of Sabah for the progress of the State,” he said.

Company administrator Ruziah Mohammad, 32, who hails from Kota Kinabalu and works in Tawau, said the delay in the completion of the project does not reflect the seriousness of a government in fulfilling its promise to ensure the comfort of the people after receiving the mandate.

She said her job often requires her to travel between Tawau and Semporna, as well as to Kota Kinabalu, which affects the performance of her vehicle, as well as her health.

“I’m worried that these will take a toll on me and my ability to perform my duties,” she added. 



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