Explain ‘slow’ Pan Borneo highway

[COLOR=#707070 !important]Queville To
| July 26, 2013
The fact that the RM20 billion MRT in Kuala Lumpur can be completed by 2016 but the Pan Borneo Highway costing RM22 billion is considered "expensive" and can only be completed in 2025 shows 'discrimination' says an assemblyman.
TAWAU: A Sabah state assembly representative has called on the federal government to stop giving excuses and to expedite the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway.

The construction of the 2,239 km highway spanning from Sematan Serudong Sarawak to Sabah, is being carried out in stages, starting from 2011 to 2025.

Sri Tanjong assemblyman Chan Foong Hin said that the completion of the highway was essential towards spurring the development potential of the two states.

Chan was commenting on the various statements by Deputy Works Minister Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin, explaining the delays in the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway was due to the high cost of RM22 billion involved to implement the whole project.

Rosnah had recently revealed that Sabah and Sarawak were allocated RM 9.5 billion and RM12.5 billion each, for its construction in stages. A total of RM457 million has been allocated under the Rolling Plan 4, 10th Malaysia Plan at present. Out of the total amount, Sabah and Sarawak each received RM50 million last year.

However, Chan contended that the cost involved is only half when compared with the Mass Rapid Transit project in the Klang Valley, which was estimated at RM50 billion for the distance of 150km.

He said that if compared with the first MRT line, which commenced from Sungai Buloh to Kajang, which is expected to be completed in 2016, the cost had now shot up to RM20 billion.

The Sabah DAP Publicity Secretary said the slow implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway showed that the federal government is not concerned with the development of Sabah and Sarawak.

“The Pan Borneo Highway costing RM22 billion is considered expensive and has to be built gradually until 2025, while the first MRT line with approximately the same cost RM20 billion can be completed by 2016.

All three MRT lines are expected to be completed by 2020, but the people of Sabah and Sarawak have to wait for another 5 years, by 2025 then only they can get to use the Pan Borneo Highway,” he lamented.

He said this looked like discrimination against Sabah and Sarawak.

Chan said that the transport system should not be planned based only on the traffic volume, but also take into consideration of such factors like the potential for development and welfare of the people.

“Development must not be based in the Klang Valley alone and should be balanced throughout Malaysia,” he said.

Chan also said that the road being constructed could not be termed a highway but rather just a road.