By P PREM KUMAR & DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By BERNAMA
The construction of the Pan Borneo Highway’s (PBH) second phase is undergoing a technical study, which will be completed soon, said Works Minister Baru Bian (picture).
He said the technical study would comprise financial and technical mechanisms which will determine whether the government will continue with the construction or not, according to the government’s financial capabilities.
The technical study is being coordinated together with the Finance Ministry, and the Sabah and Sarawak state governments, Bian told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
He said the Sarawak section of the highway, now under construction, would have a major impact on the state and its people, including in terms of socio-economic development and, as such, a thorough study was necessary.
“The first phase of the project — now under construction — is from Telok Melano in southern Sarawak to Miri in the north, and is slated for completion in 2021, covering 765km which is divided into 11 packages.
“The second phase, from Limbang to Lawas, is under a study in terms of finance,” he said in response to a question from former Works Minister and MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof (GPS-Petra Jaya).
Fadillah asked the government on the status of PBH’s second phase of development.
Bian also said the highway project in Sarawak also involves the upgrading of existing roads to four lanes over 706km that covered the implementation under the first phase in 35 packages.
He said the 12 packages under construction would continue to be implemented, while the remaining 23 packages were still in various stages of implementation.
Phase 2 of PBH will cover 77km to link up to Sabah, involving construction of roads in Limbang and Lawas in northern Sarawak, and also go through Brunei.
It was reported that the RM29 billion mega project will continue despite the change in federal government, but an audit will be carried out on the contractors.
Like the North-South Expressway, which has brought many economic multiplier effects to Peninsular Malaysia, the PBH is expected to bring about the same benefits to Sabah and Sarawak.