Sarawak stretch of Pan Borneo highway at 52% completion

An aerial view of the completed 43km Jalan Nyabau to Simpang Bakun with four-lane dual carriageways. - File pic

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, Aug 25: Progress of Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak is at 52 per cent as of July 2020 with completion expected this year.

Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof explained that all construction projects under the government including the Sarawak’s stretch of Pan Borneo Highway has been given a three-months extension of time automatically.

“For Pan Borneo Highway project and other government projects (which constructions are affected due to Movement Control Order and Covid-19), we will find a way or specific approach to expedite and complete the projects according to schedule without additional cost,” he told the Dewan Rakyat in responding to Ahmad Johnie Zawawi (Igan-GPS) today.

Fadillah added that the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway project was implemented conventionally in collaboration with Public Works Department (PWD) Sarawak following the termination of the Project Delivery Partner (PDP).

“The Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will still respect the decision of the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to change the method of delivery for the project in which the former Minister of Finance (Bagan MP) had announced that the termination was expected to provide a saving of RM3.1 billion to the government while former Works Minister reported an expected saving of RM1.2 billion.

“So I am unsure which figure is more suitable to be used and I am also not sure which facts were used by the former finance minister,” he said.

However, Fadillah pointed out that the implementation did not take into account matters that were being addressed by the government, namely the impact on project administration and contract changes; secondly, the need to improve capacity and existing technical expertise; and thirdly, the claims arising from the PDP termination.

“In other words, we can only finalise the amount saved when this project is completed later. Then, we will know the real cost to complete the project. Basically, there is real savings but the amount is not ascertained yet so I cannot state here clearly. So it does not matter the amount announced by the former ministers,” he added.—DayakDaily