MIRI, Sept 5: The state government hopes the Pakatan Harapan government is seriously committed to the development of Sarawak, and thus, will behave responsibly towards Sarawakians and their wellbeing concerning the matter of the Pan Borneo Highway.
“It would be a great disappointment if excuses were given to delay the Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak,” said Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting who is also the secretary-general of Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) via a statement on Tuesday.
“The Pan Borneo Highway is a long-time dream of Sarawakians and Sabahans since the formation of Malaysia. Other than connecting all its communities along the route via a well-built road system, it will trigger many economic spin offs for Sarawak and Sabah,” he added.
He further added, there was much joy and relief in Sarawak when the Sarawak leg of the project commenced in 2016 as this highway would also improve the safety of road users and shorten travelling times.
“Therefore it is with much surprise that the Prime Minister mentioned there will be a delay in completion for the Sabah portion of the project. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said they would investigate where the huge amount of funds had gone. Surely the payments for the completed packages of work done were made in phases,” he pointed out.
“In Sarawak, our Phase 1 which encompasses 1,060km is due for completion in 2021 at an estimated cost of RM16.488 billion. Currently about 193km have been completed with the rest under progress.
“We hope there will be no excuses given to delay the work here in Sarawak as all work seems to be progressing well,” he said.
Ting also said Dr Mahathir has been in the Cabinet for more than 30 years with 22 years as Prime Minister.
“During this entire duration he had the opportunity to help Sarawak but nothing was done to start the Pan Borneo Highway.
“The massive amounts of revenue from the oil taken from Sarawak was instead used to improve all the infrastructure in Peninsular Malaysia including their highway network. Sarawak and Sabah were left far behind,” he pointed out.
Ting noted that Minister of Works Baru Bian had given assurance recently that the Pan Borneo Highway will proceed as planned and that work was progressing according to schedule.
“We pray and hope he will steer this project towards its planned completion,” he said. — DayakDaily