Tuesday, June 25

Labuan Bridge ready by 2023 – MP

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LABUAN: The proposed Labuan-Menumbok Bridge is scheduled for completion in 2023, said Labuan member of parliament Datuk Rozman Isli.

The techno-economic feasibility study for the proposed project will be completed in December this year.

“As I have presented my question during the parliament session on Wednesday to the Minister of Federal Territory, we have got the answer that the project will be implemented as soon as after the nine-month long study is completed, which is in December this year,” he said yesterday.

Rozman, who is the Labuan Corporation chairman, said the longstanding issue was finally answered both with the bridge construction announcement by the Prime Minister during the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030 launching on January 18 and an answer from the Ministry of Federal Territories on the completion of the project.

The answer, as read  by Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan (during the parliament session), said  following the announcement to build the Labuan-Menumbok Bridge by the Prime Minister during the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030 launching on January 18, the Federal Territory Ministry through the Labuan Corporation had taken immediate action to carry out the Labuan-Menumbok Bridge proposal implementation study.

It further explained the changes in the purpose and scope of the study that are feasibility studies illustrating the commitment and seriousness of the government to build the Labuan-Menumbok Bridge, which will certainly provide economic benefits and improve the connectivity between Labuan and mainland Sabah.

The Federal Territory Ministry and Labuan Corporation are in the final process of finalizing the offer and appointment of a consultant and upon completion of the review, a special document called ‘Request for Proposal’ (RFP) will be provided by the consultant within a period of three months (expected to be completed by end of March 2019).

This document is provided for the purpose of the offer process and the appointment of an investor or project contractor.

Rozman reckoned that building the long-awaited bridge linking the duty-free island to the mainland is a game changer that will give huge positive impacts economically to the whole region.

“Big changes will happen not only in Labuan but also to Kuala Penyu and Beaufort and nearby Menumbok,” he said.

The proposed bridge linking Labuan to mainland Sabah via Menumbok has been identified by the federal government as a key enabler to spur the economic development of the island and its surrounding regions.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan had said  end of last year that being strategically located, it would leverage on Labuan’s current position as a global and regional centre for international business and finance.

He said it was in line with the government’s aspiration to develop Labuan into a smart and sustainable island city with a well-diversified economy by 2030.

Najib announced in Budget 2018 that the government had approved and set aside RM14.31 million for a techno-economic feasibility study on the proposed Labuan-Menumbok Bridge.

The techno-economic feasibility study would include preliminary engineering design, economic and financial analysis, road safety audit and third party field works such as soil investigation, survey, coastal studies, traffic studies and environmental studies.

The main objective of the study is to prepare an updated estimated project cost using preliminary engineering design plans and to evaluate potential procurement models utilising the PFI scheme.

The findings would be used to establish a benchmark for the next stage of project implementation, namely to prepare a Request for Proposal and to call for an open tender to identify suitable investors from the private sector.