Sunday, September 19

Pan Borneo Highway to be continued as per previous govt’s conventional project approach


An aerial view of a stretch of the completed Pan Borneo Highway kick-off project from Jalan Nyabau to Simpang Bakun. – File photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The construction of the Pan Borneo Highway will continue, through the use of the conventional project approach adopted by the previous government following the termination of the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) contract which took effect on Feb 20 this year.

Nevertheless, the new Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the government would study the approach in detail to ensure the project is completed on time and that construction quality is guaranteed.

Speaking at a press conference here today, the senior minister said this will include checks on two cost-saving amounts comprising RM3.1 billion and RM2.8 billion respectively, which were announced by two Pakatan Harapan (PH) ministers in the past.

Referring to these two amounts, Fadillah said “these cost-saving numbers are not that correct but what is more important, is for us to look at the further steps needed to ensure the Pan Borneo Highway is completed according to schedule.

“I respect the changes made by the previous administration. Perhaps they had views and a basis for making the decision. I am not able to say if any change will be made in the future”.

Also present was Deputy Works Minister Datuk Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh.

Previously, then Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had terminated the PDP contract effective Feb 20, after which the PH government continued with the Pan Borneo Highway project by adopting a conventional project approach which was said to have altogether entailed savings of RM3.1 billion.

Former Works Minister Baru Bian in turn, was reported to have said that the estimated savings of the project following the shift to the conventional project approach, was RM2.87 billion.

Meanwhile, Fadillah said the Works Ministry will focus on the construction industry to assist households from the B40 (low-income) and M40 (middle-income) groups.

“For example, in reference to target groups like the B40…if there are contractors from the G1, G2, G3 classes in the construction industry, we will look at how we can expand to have more projects and these can be given to them through a ballot or price quotation process, and such.

“In the construction industry, for every RM1 that we spend, the multiplier is eight times. This means one contract can benefit consultants, other industries and such, so all will benefit,” he said. – Bernama