Pan Borneo Highway: Conventional method to be reviewed, reveals Fadillah

Dato Sri Fadillah Yusof

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KUCHING, March 12: The federal government will look into the conventional method adopted in the construction of Pan Borneo Highway, following the termination of the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) approach by the previous government effective Feb 20.

According to Berita Harian, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that he would get a detailed briefing on the changes of the implementation approach as he respect the decisions made by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

“We will review and study the approach in all aspects, including assurance of construction quality and cost-saving measures, before any further decision is made public.

“I respect the changes made by previous administration, perhaps they had views and basis for their decisions. So, I am unable to say if any change will be made in the future,” he told a press conference after chairing a post-Cabinet meeting in Putrajaya today.

Fadillah pointed out that there were two cost-saving amounts announced by two PH ministers in the past, at RM3.1 billion and RM2.8 billion respectively.

“The cost-saving figures are not that correct but what is more important is for us to look at further steps needed to ensure the Pan Borneo Highway is completed according to schedule,” he said.

Noting that the completion date of the project had been delayed by one year, he however emphasised that the cost-saving measures should not compromise the quality of construction.

Deputy Works Minister Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh was present.

Previously, former finance minister Lim Guan Eng had terminated the PDP contract effective Feb 20, after which the PH government continued with the Pan Borneo Highway project by adopting a conventional project approach which was said to have altogether entailed savings of RM3.1 billion.

Former works minister Baru Bian, had in turn on Feb 20, was reported to have said that the estimated savings of the project following the shift to the conventional project approach, was RM2.865 billion.

The savings, he added, was from not having to pay the 5.5 per cent in PDP fees but the real figure could only be determined after a full evaluation on the project was done.

Fadillah explained that the Barisan Nasional (BN) administration had previously adopted the PDP approach because the implementing companies were given the ceiling to complete the project, and the government did not have to bear the risk if the cost of construction exceeded its initial projections.

“Everything is borne by PDP, they can be fined if they fail to comply with the agreement, but following the change in implementation approach, we will only know the amount of savings once the project is completed,” he said. — DayakDaily