KOTA KINABALU: For over three-decades, talks have been going on to build a new border town sandwiched between Sabah and Sarawak - and now it’s finally taking shape.
Works for a new township in Sabah’s Sindumin about 160kms from here have begun at the area that borders Merabok in the Sarawak side of Lawas in south-western Sabah.
Sabah’s Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor undertook the earth-breaking ceremony on Sunday at the 68ha site which will see the construction of 40 units of double-storey shophouses for a start.
The project’s developer is the Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (LPPB) that is developing it through a private sector company Ultra Land Development Sdn Bhd.
Hajiji said that it was a “historical” moment for Sabah as it was long planned development that had been on the cards for years and hoped that it would spur the border trade in the area.
Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Ahmand Bujang hoped that locals would be given priority to purchase the new shop houses and also appealed that a hotel be set up in the area as it would part of the Trans-Borneo highway.
Sindumin was originally to have been developed as part of the common border town of Bandar Sahabat or Friendship Town together with Sarawak’s Merapok under the Integrated Development concept.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was actually signed between the then Sabah and Sarawak chief ministers in 1981.
However, the concept was later changed to that of a Twin Town, with Sabah developing Sindumin and Sarawak developing Merapok.
The spirit of co-operation remains with the two towns’ services complementing each other.