Limbang needs better connectivity after scrapping of Phase II Pan Borneo Highway project

Paulus debating in DUN.

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 8: Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang expressed his disappointment with the scrapping of Phase II of the Pan Borneo Highway project, which would have connected Limbang and Lawas.

He said that after the project was shelved, Limbang is the only division in Sarawak left out from the Pan Borneo Highway.

“On Nov 5, Works Minister (Baru Bian) launched the proposed 425km Sarawak-Sabah Link Road estimated to cost RM5.2 billion.

“While we welcome the project, we are most disappointed that Phase II of the Pan Borneo Highway in Limbang and Lawas was shelved,” Paulus said when debating the Sarawak Budget 2020 at the DUN sitting here today.

He felt that instead of scrapping the project, the federal government should carry out both projects to provide better connectivity to the people in Limbang.

“This highway connection is important not only for those travelling either to Miri or Sabah, but most of all, for the patients referred for specialist treatment either to Miri or Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Sabah (Kota Kinabalu),” he said.

The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) lawmaker said that due to the distances to these two hospitals, there have been many cases where the patients died on the way.

“I hope the Sarawak government will proceed with the proposed Miri-Limbang stretch of the Pan Borneo to shorten the journey for patients from Limbang to Miri Hospital, as this can be a matter of life and death,” he continued.

As for the setting up of the MPKKP, Paulus believed the main intention of the Pakatan Harapan government in implementing it was to split the rural communities in Sarawak.

“I’m sure the federal government is aware of its implication because in August 2008, when Selangor fell to the opposition (Pakatan), they refused the formation of a Federal Village Security and Development Committee (JKKKP) by the Barisan Nasional government, which was similar to the MPKKP situation.

“Then Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, said such committee already existed in the state. As such, the government did not recognised such committee. He even said such committee was a waste of money.

“So, if Pakatan in Selangor did not accept the setting up of the JKKKP at that time, why did Pakatan is so eager to set it up a similar committee here in Sarawak, if not for their main intention to bring down the GPS government,” Paulus said. — DayakDaily