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KUCHING, Sept 22: Works on the 425 kilometre Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) connecting Sarawak and Sabah from Miri is expected to start this month and will be completed in 2026.
Works Minister Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof emphasised that the road is expected to spur the growth of eco and agro-tourism in the surrounding areas, apart from providing easier access to education and healthcare.
“On the Pan Borneo Highway project, work progress on the 786km road and bridges from Telok Melano to Miri in Sarawak is now 70 per cent completed and Sabah notched 56 per cent completion of the proposed 706km road from Sindumin to Tawau,” he said in a media release from Curtin University Malaysia today.
Fadillah highlighted this during a two-day online symposium on infrastructure development jointly hosted by The Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) Miri Branch and Curtin Highway Infrastructure Research and Innovation Hub (CHIRI) recently.
Themed ‘Challenges and Opportunities of Infrastructure Development in Borneo’, the two-day symposium was attended by over 200 participants from the public and corporate sectors and academia.
Fadillah also pointed out the challenges of the Pan Borneo Highway project are limited access to sufficient manpower and construction materials; insufficient local qualified contractors and subcontractors; difficult topographical terrains; limited funding for planned and earmarked projects; and policy and regulations in implementation.
“The construction industry in Malaysia must consider the construction industry needs by embracing Industrial Revolution (IR) 4.0 to use less skilled workers and shift towards automation.
“Hence, I look forward to the symposium participants supporting the government’s efforts by leveraging on technologies and data systems, innovation and automation at every level of their operations to build quality and sustainable infrastructure,” he added.
Apart from Fadillah, Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin also gave insights into the transportation development in Sarawak including the status of the Kuching Urban Transportation System (KUTS) projects.
He pointed out that KUTS, which is set to become the backbone of the public transport system in Kuching, will transform Kuching into a dynamic regional city.
“Sarawak, with its large area and sparse population, faced many challenges in facilitating development of its land, riverine and air transport, and port facilities.
“Nevertheless, the State offers many opportunities in its transport sector and these include projects to improve river navigation infrastructure, integrating land and riverine connections for transportation of agricultural produce, better management of land public transport and infrastructure, and use of new smart technologies,” he said.
IEM Malaysia president Ir Ong Ching Loon, IEM Miri Branch chairman Ir Sean Wong Siong Ung, Curtin Malaysia Interim Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Vincent Lee, Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) chief executive officer (CEO) Datu Ismawi Ismuni and Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak deputy director of corporate affairs Ir Wisil Lichok were among those attending the online symposium. — DayakDaily