Make sure funds available for Sarawak-Sabah Link Road, Masing tells federal govt

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 6: Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing hopes that the federal government will not just ‘talk’ about the proposed 425km-long Sarawak-Sabah Link Road (SSLR) that was announced by Works Minister Baru Bian yesterday.

The road is estimated to cost RM5.2 billion and is expected to be completed by 2030.

“ ‘Jangan cakap sahaja’ (don’t just talk). Make sure the money is available. That’s a good proposal and I hope it will go through and will link us to Sabah. I’m all for it and hope that the federal government will not pull out any funds from us. I hope there is no U-turn,” Masing told reporters after presenting minor rural project (MRP) funds at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) complex here today.

He also said, in order to implement the project, the federal Ministry of Works has to get the approval of the State Planning Authority (SPA).

“For the road to go through Sarawak, the SPA must be told because the land (approval) goes through us. They must get the SPA approval to get the road alignment; that, they must get. They can’t get away with that (not getting SPA approval). And make sure the money is there,” he reiterated.

He was commenting on Works Minister Baru Bian saying he was putting his career on the line to get the road project completed within the specified time frame.

SSLR is the first road that will connect Sarawak and Sabah without passing through Brunei. It is divided into two packages.

The first package is from Lawas to Long Sukang, then proceeds to Long Luping and Pa’ Berunut. Construction is expected to start in October next year and expected to be completed in 2024.

The second package, which is expected to be completed in 2030, will cover Pa’ Berunut to Long Lama with a distance of 160km that will include spur roads with a distance of 175km.

Commenting on State Budget 2020, Masing said his ministry’s proposals and projects were on track and all the projects were being implemented accordingly. — DayakDaily