KINABATANGAN — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today launched the Sabah Eastern Zone Pan Borneo Highway for the Sandakan-Kinabatangan-Beluran-Telupid alignment.
The Prime Minister said the project involves three packages namely package 28, 29 and 30 over 58 km involving a cost of RM877 million.
He said the scope of the project involved works to upgrade the road from a single to dual carriageway, construction of three bridges and a multi-level interchange.
“When completed, the route would provide a comfortable, efficient and safe land access to residents,” he said when speaking at the launching ceremony at Dataran Tamu Pekan, Kota Kinabatangan here today.
Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, Deputy Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, and Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup.
Ismail Sabri said construction for the project had started this month and it is scheduled to be fully completed in three years in October 2024.
He said the route would also facilitate logistics and marketing of agricultural produce in Telusid and would also help promote tourism around Sandakan.
“The implementation of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway proved the commitment of the federal government in developing a planned, systematic and efficient road infrastructure network for the Malaysian Family here.
“It is to ensure better socioeconomic development to benefit the people in this state in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan which is the Malaysian Family- A Prosperity, Inclusive and Sustainable Malaysia,” he said.
On concerns of internet access problems in the rural areas in Sabah, the Prime Minister said under the National Digital Network (Jendela) programme, the government has allocated RM3.5 billion to build 534 telecommunication towers in Sabah.
Ismail Sabri said the government assures that the Jendela project would be completed in two years.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said there are 105 new projects costing RM1.9 billion for Sabah among them, upgrading roads, electricity supply and clean water.
He said also approved was the construction of a new multi-purpose hall in Kota Kinabatangan costing RM6 million, a RM3 million Kota Kinabatangan public market and a waste disposal centre in Kinabatangan costing RM3 million.
Meanwhile, in the media conference after the ceremony, the Prime Minister said the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is among the methods being studied to expedite the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway.
“There are delays in the implementation (project) as the previous government cancelled the PDP (Project Delivery Partner) concept, therefore this time we must find a way to ensure the project is implemented fast for the people among them, PFI is being studied and discussed,” he said.