KOTA KINABALU, Sept 25 — The previous government’s move to terminate the project delivery partner (PDP) for the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah without first securing sukuk or bonds has caused difficulties in implementing the project, especially in terms of financing.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (picture) said without sukuk or bonds, the financing for the project now had to depend on development allocations from the federal government.
“Sarawak cancelled the PDP but it already secured sukuk or bonds for the project. In Sabah, the PDP was cancelled but sukuk or bonds have not been managed. When there is only development allocation left, the Pan Borneo Highway cannot be fully developed.
“There is about RM1 billion a year (of development allocation) to develop this project…I think if this is the way, even after 45 years the project would not have been completed for the people to enjoy,” he said when contacted by reporters today.
He was commenting on allegations by three Members of Parliament from DAP, namely Chan Foong Hin (Kota Kinabalu), Noorita Sual (Tenom) and Vivian Wong Shir Yee (Sandakan), that Bung Moktar had misled the Dewan Rakyat by saying that the Pakatan Harapan had cut the budget for the project, while debating the motion of thanks for the royal address on Sept 21.
Commenting further, Bung Moktar said he was ready to explain more about the project in the Dewan Rakyat to ensure that all parties understand what had happened and that the project runs smoothly.
“I am not misleading the Dewan Rakyat, they are the ones who lied…don’t worry, I will answer them in Parliament. What is important now is our responsibility to develop this project smoothly and quickly for our people in Sabah,” he said.
During the State Legislative Assembly sitting on Thursday (Sept 23), Bung Moktar reportedly said that the 1,236 km-long Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah involved three phases of construction with a cost of RM40.2 million.
The Sabah Works Minister said Phase One of the project, with 35 packages involving the construction of 706 km of the highway at a cost of RM15.2 billion, had completed the design process.
Of the total, 15 packages were currently in the construction stage involving 317.6 km at a cost of RM7.98 billion borne by the federal government.