KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Works Ministry is currently exploring new ways to speed up the construction of the Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway so that it can be completed soon.
The construction was delayed following the termination of Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) as a project delivery partner (PDP) and also due to the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).
Works Minister cum Senior Minister (Infrastructure) Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof today said discussions were being held with the Sarawak Public Works Department as the main implementer of the project to find new methods to accelerate the project following the cancellation of PDP’s appointment.
“When the PDP was first terminated, the project was automatically extended for one year. With the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, MCO and so on it is certain that this period will be extended further,” he told a press conference after the groundbreaking ceremony of the project to upgrade part of Jalan Mohd Musa here.
He said the new methods would be referred to the Cabinet in case it requires a change in terms of policy and implementation methods.
“We have decided to respect the former Pakatan Harapan government’s decision to terminate the role of PDP,” he said, adding that PDP’s termination will also have implications for the government in terms of legal claims, damages and so on.
Fadillah said the new method will be finalised as soon as possible through the establishment of a special task force to determine the appropriate strategy, guided by decisions made by the Cabinet.
He said the project, which was originally estimated to cost about RM16.488 billion, is now close to 50 per cent completed before being postponed following PDP’s termination and the MCO.
The Sarawak Pan Borneo project encompasses 11 phases, most of which involves work to upgrade federal roads from two to four lanes.
The entire project involves the construction of 115 bridges, 25 elevated interchanges, three rest and service areas and six lay-bys.