Sabah mulls other funding initiatives for Pan Borneo Highway

by BERNAMA

KOTA KINABALU – Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said the Sabah Public Works Department (JKR) is projecting the entire 35 packages under phase 1 of the Pan Borneo Highway to be completed in 2040 if the government did not consider other funding initiatives for allocations.

Bung Moktar who is also the state Works Minister said based on 2021 Budget announcement by the Finance Ministry and current trend, it was found that only one package from the remaining 20 packages under phase 1 was approved for 2021.

“Through the projection, Sabah JKR estimated that only five to six packages would be implemented under the 12th Malaysia Plan (12MP) and only 21 of the 35 packages would be completed up to 2028.

“Now, the implementation of LPB depends solely on Development Expenditure (DE) and the project is constructed by Sabah JKR. The provision of funds is different from the LPB phase 1 which was implemented via Project Delivery Partner (PDP) in which the project cost and duration are fixed. Nonetheless the PDP concept was terminated on Sept 21 2019,” he told the State Legislative Assembly today.

He was replying to a question by Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak (BN-Usukan) who enquired about the latest status of LPB project especially in Kota Belud area.

Bung Moktar, said if the construction of LPB is dependent on allocation through DE, then its construction would take a very long time.

In this regard, he proposed that the federal government allowed the Sabah government implement the LPB project on a Private Financial Initiative (PFI).

“I am confident the LPB project could be expedited if we adopt PFI and I will hold discussion with several local companies early next year on the matter, “ he said.

The Sabah LPB project is implemented in stages through three phases and the first phase encompasses constructing the 706 kilometres highway in 35 packages at a costing of RM15.272 billion.