Pan Borneo Highway project: Model swapping fine, just get the job done on time — Masing

Tan Sri Dr James Masing

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, March 22: Minister for Infrastructure Development and Transportation Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing shares the same stand as Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on the federal government’s plan to scrap the project delivery partner (PDP) model for the entire RM29 billion Pan Borneo Highway project in favour of the turnkey contractor model.

In a statement to DayakDaily today, Masing said the proposed scrapping of the PDP model is a federal matter.

“(The) federal government can decide what is best to build it (highway). Sarawak government will follow what is best to build and finish Pan Borneo Highway within the tight schedule,” said Masing.

He emphasised that Sarawak was not ‘crazy’ about how or who controlled its construction as long as it is built on time.

“(However, the) federal government must take cognizance of the fact that the Pan Borneo Highway is built on our turf, and we should be involved,” highlighted Masing.

Yesterday, The Edge reported that the Putrajaya had decided to ditch the PDP model for the turnkey contractor model to build the highway.

But Deputy Works Minister Mohd Anuar Mohd Tahir told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday that the federal cabinet would only decide by the end of this month.

“By end of March, the cabinet will make a decision related to the Pan Borneo (highway). So until the decision is announced, all speculations remain speculations. I cannot and don’t have the right to say anything ahead of the Cabinet,” he said.

When reporters approached Abang Johari for his comment on this matter yesterday, he commented that as long as the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway project is not delayed, the state government would not mind the federal government scraping the PDP model.

He pointed out that it was up to the federal government as it is a federal project.

“What happened is the federal government wanted to restructure. They are not using the PDP arrangement anymore. It is up to the federal government because it is a federal project.

“But what we are concerned about is we hope it doesn’t delay the project. That’s all. That is a federal government project,” Abang Johari told reporters after witnessing a contract signing ceremony between Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd and Serba Dinamik Holdings Bhd in Kuching.

Meanwhile in Sabah, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal reportedly told reporters in Kota Kinabalu today that an agreement had been reached during a discussion between the Sabah government, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Works Minister Baru Bian that the PDP model would not be used to ensure a more efficient and accountable management of its construction cost. — DayakDaily