Premier says not in the know about proposed Trans-Borneo Railways project by Bruneian company

Abang Johari speaks to reporters when met at Juma'ani Pavilion, Petra Jaya on March 31, 2024.

By Chris Bishop

KUCHING, March 31: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has clarified that he was not in the know about the proposed Trans-Borneo Railways (TBR) project by a Bruneian company.

He was asked by a reporter to comment whether the federal government will consider Bruneian company Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd’s proposal on the construction of a cross-border railway project linking the whole of Borneo.

“I don’t know about that because we have just read about the project proposal by the Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd.

“However, Malaysia is currently conducting a study (on the same project) and therefore, I believe that TBR project is probably a proposal by the private sector that has nothing to do with the government.

“Because if we want to do a Borneo railway, there must be an agreement between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei,” he said when met at the launch of the ‘Rona Warni Aidilfitri’ at Juma’ani Pavilion here today.

Abang Johari further said that Malaysia through Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is currently conducting the study on the proposed railway project.

“They (EPU) will communicate with Indonesia and Brunei through government-to-government (G2G) to reach a consensus in the effort to develop the railway project.

“For the Brunei company’s proposed project, I am not in the know about that. It has nothing to do with the government. It is just a proposal from the private company,” he added.

Brunei company announces high-speed bullet train network connecting Brunei, Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan

According to Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd’s official website, its proposed TBR project will unfold in two phases encompassing a route spanning 1,620 kilometres.

Phase One aims to connect the economic powerhouses of the western coastline cities to the east, starting at Pontianak of West Kalimantan and ending at Kota Kinabalu of Sabah.

Under this main line route, the cities covered include Kota Kinabalu, Kimanis/Papar, Beaufort, Sipitang, Lawas, Bangar, Limbang, Bukit Panggal, Miri, Bintulu, Sibu, Sri Aman, Kuching, Sambas, Singkawang, Mempawah and Pontianak.

Meanwhile, Brunergy Utama disclosed that Phase Two will then break into North and East Kalimantan to connect the main line with Borneo’s largest city, Samarinda, and later the future Indonesian capital of Nusantara.

The proposed route under Phase Two includes Bukit Panggal, Long Seridan, Bekalalan, Long Bawan, Malinau, Tanjung Selor, Tandjungredeb, Pengadan, Lubuk Tutung, Bontang, Samarinda and Balikpapan. — DayakDaily