Masing: Channel RM3.1bil from Pan Borneo S’wak PDP termination to state

A file photo of Masing fielding questions from reporters.

By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Feb 7: Money saved by the Finance Ministry following the termination of the Sarawak portion Pan Borneo Highway project delivery partner (PDP), Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd, should be channelled back to the state.

Sarawak deputy chief minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said the money can be utilised to implement infrastructure projects terminated by the federal government such as major bridge projects along the state coastal roads, as well solving issues of dilapidated schools.

“My ministry is checking on the accuracy of MoF (Finance Ministry) calculation on the actual cost of Pan Borneo Highway after the termination of the PDP.

“If indeed the result of saving RM3.1 billion is accurate, then Putrajaya should give that sum back to us so that we can use the balance in the construction of infrastructure projects, which it had pulled out from,” the Infrastructure and Port Development Minister told DayakDaily.

Masing was commenting on Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, who announced yesterday that the termination of its deal with the PDP for the remaining 786.4km portion of the Pan Borneo Highway will save some RM3.1 billion in costs, most of which came from the removal of a 5.5 per cent service cost imposed by the PDP.

With the termination of the PDP, the financial implications to implement the project would be reduced by 14 per cent.

“The estimated financial implication to the government with the involvement of PDP companies before this was at RM21.9 billion, where the estimate for the financial implications once the PDP is terminated is around RM18.8 billion,” Lim told reporters after witnessing the signing of the new project funding agreement involving the federal government and DanaInfra Nasional Bhd.

Lim was also reported as saying that Putrajaya would be handling the highway project fully by issuing tenders and allocation for construction, which will be supervised by government appointed representatives in the Public Works Ministry in Sarawak.

He said the RM3.1 billion gained in savings would be channelled back towards development and infrastructure projects in Sarawak to ensure proper socioeconomic development in the state.

The Works Ministry issued a notice of termination to Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd in September last year, which would take effect this Feb 20. — DayakDaily