Pan Borneo Highway and major state infrastructure projects to continue, contractors to be scrutinised

Chong (left) speaks during a press conference at DAP Sarawak headquarters in Kuching flanked by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

KUCHING, May 14: State Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen assures Sarawakians that all major infrastructure development projects including the Pan Borneo Highway will be carried out as planned.

However, all contractors and subcontractors involved in these projects would be audited by professionals to be appointed by the PH central government later, he said.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Chong, who is also Stampin MP and Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman, explained that with the auditing, the PH government would be able to weed out the excessive layers of subcontractors in the projects which may have hiked up development cost while compromising work quality as well as speed of completion.

“There are a lot of concerns on the ground that the Pan Borneo Highway contracts may be terminated because of the change of government. I assure all Sarawakians that the Pan Borneo Highway project will continue despite the change of government.

“However there will be some auditing carried out in respect of the actual carrying out of works and also appointment of subcontractors or layers of subcontractors that, ultimately caused the actual person doing the work only to receive a fraction of the contract price.

“Some reviews and audits have to be done. But for now I reassure all Sarawakians that the Pan Borneo Highway project will continue, and so will all the other major infrastructure projects that has been going on in Sarawak.

“As for the procedures, we will do some auditing and with the purpose and intent that every single sen that is spent by the government will go to the projects and for the benefit of the people, and not half of it goes into the pockets of the cronies while the other half goes to the projects,” said Chong.

The auditors, he said, would be appointed from among professionals by the PH government, and details were to be worked out later.

“For today just be reassured that all these projects will continue. As for the paperwork and money trails, those can be investigated at the office level,” he added.

The main contractor for the Pan Borneo Highway project is Lebuh Raya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd, with the Sarawak section of the project costing RM16.49 billion, spanning 1,089km from Telok Melano and Sematan to Lawas.

Meanwhile, on the appointment of Lim Guan Eng as the new Finance Minister, Chong said this accomplishment was part of PH’s election manifesto where the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister would not be the same person.

“Within three days we have already delivered one of the promises as contained in our manifesto. Malaysians and Sarawakians in general can rest assured that we will continue to honour the promises that we have made in our election manifesto,” he said. — DayakDaily