KUCHING, September 7: Work on the proposed Pan Borneo Highway project is only delayed on the Sabah side, not on the Sarawak end.
Pakatan Harapan Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen said, “The project (in Sarawak) is ongoing and will continue to be, despite earlier report that it will be delayed.”
Speaking to reporters at Kuching International Airport today, Chong said the recent news report published by a local Chinese daily quoting Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on this matter was actually referring to the Sabah side of the highway.
At a press conference during his official visit to Brunei on Sept 3, Dr Mahathir announced that the highway initiative would be delayed.
“The article was actually referring to Sabah’s section of the Pan Borneo Highway, which is currently delayed after the federal government uncovered suspicious records suggesting embezzlement of funds,” said Chong, adding that he had checked with the Prime Minister’s Office and contractors involved in the project.
Chong assured that work in Sarawak was still ongoing, with workers at the construction site.
Meanwhile, he said the federal government was conducting a review of the cost of the 706km-long highway. He believed quite a substantial amount would be deducted from the project (for future phases) when unnecessary costs and leakages are plugged.
“Unnecessary costs and leakages under the previous administration are quite rampant, and the Pan Borneo Highway project is among those affected. However, rest be assured that this project will continue.
“The extra funds deducted from this project can be used for other development projects in the state. The money belongs to the people; therefore, we want to ensure that the people will continue to benefit from it,” he said. — DayakDaily