Wednesday, July 6

‘Govt to announce cost reduction on Pan Borneo’


Baru (fourth right), Ling (third right), Abang Sardon (second left) and others posing with the contestants.

SIBU: The government will soon announce the rate of the cost reduction for the Pan Borneo Highway project, which is being reviewed in its technical and financial aspects.

Works Minister Baru Bian said the matter is being discussed between the government and the project stakeholders.

“We hope they (stakeholders) will give and take (on this matter) in view of the tight financial situation of the country,” he told reporters after launching the state-level ‘Pidato Kenegaraan’ 2018 at Sibu Civic Centre yesterday.

Baru was asked if the government will be announcing the rate of the cost reduction of the mega project any time soon, following its review.

The Selangau MP and Ba Kelalan assemblyman revealed that the Ministry of Finance

had met up with the relevant parties especially representatives from LBU (Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd) to negotiate the cost reduction (for the project).

It was recently reported the technical and financial aspects of the RM29bil mega project was being reviewed.

For the record, 2,325km Pan Borneo Highway – Phase 1 of the highway linking Telok Melano in southern Sarawak to Miri in the north, and is slated for completion in 2021, while Phase 2 is to link up to Sabah.

Recently, Baru had said there was no delay in Pan Borneo Highway project for Sarawak’s side and based on the report he received as at May 25 (this year), it had reached about 22 per cent (completion) – two per cent ahead of schedule.

He also disclosed that the Sabah side of the project was very much delayed.

Earlier in his speech he said ‘Pidato Kenegaraan’ was aimed at inculcating the love and spirit of patriotism for the country.

“I believe this programme will help strengthen the use of the national language by the various races besides promoting and cementing the spirit of unity among the community while unearthing new talent for public speaking among the people,” Baru said.

The contest is an annual programme of Sarawak Information Department.

This year, it is themed, ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku’, which also happens to be the theme for this year’s National Day celebration.

Three finalists competed in the state-level competition with the representative from Sibu and Mukah divisions Mohd Nur Asri Hamden crowned champion.

Mohd Nur will represent Sarawak at the national-level competition to be held in Sabah, slated in September.

In second and third spots were Khalid Husseine Tuah (representative from Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions) and Siti Nurul Farhani Pedi@Lapok (representative from Limbang division).

Also present at the event were Sibu MP Oscar Ling, Sarawak Information Department director Abang Sardon Abang Hashim, deputy director Ali Suhaili and Ninth Infantry Brigade Commander Brigadier-General Shamsirudin Mohd Shariff.