BAU, Nov 29: The building of the Border Security Road Network between Sarawak and Kalimantan is not only to enhance security, but to keep pace with the development in the neighbouring region following Indonesia’s capital shift.
Assistant Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development, Datuk Julaihi Narawi, said the state started working on the proposed project estimated at RM24 billion, which would be submitted to the federal government under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP).
He pointed out that the 1,600km stretch of road, including the feeder roads to the state’s assets such as the Bengoh dam and hydropower dams in Batang Ai, Murum and Bakun, was necessary in view of the Indonesian government shifting her capital city to East Kalimantan.
“The state government is now planning to build the Border Security Road along our borders with Kalimantan, because we want to keep pace with the development on the other side (Indonesia), which has decided to move its capital to Borneo Island.
“The move to build the road is necessary to protect our assets like the Bengoh dam, Murum dam, Bakun dam and Batang Ai dam among others, and our mega projects in Miri and Bintulu, as well as our plantations.
“We will submit the proposal, hopefully in the 12MP,” Julaihi told reporters after the earth breaking ceremony for the Tasik Biru Pedestrian Bridge project here today.
Julaihi said the alignment for the trunk road project has been identified, but not the alignment of the feeder roads to the state’s assets.
Indonesian president Joko Widodo, in August this year, announced that the new Indonesian capital will be located in the East Kalimantan province between Samarinda City and Port City of Balikpapan.
The capital shift initiative is expected to complete in 2024 at a cost of RM33 billion.
Julaihi, who is Sebuyau assemblyman, said the decision by the Indonesian government involved national interest, particularly in terms of security, thus the proposal for the road project ought to be given attention by the federal government. — DayakDaily