KUCHING: The Federal Government has clarified that funding for the Pan-Borneo Highway in Sarawak is a separate allocation and not subtracted from the annual infrastructure development budget for the state.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the highway was being constructed via a project delivery partner model similar to that for the Mass Rapid Transit, including funding.
He said more than 60% of the construction cost would be funded through the issuance of sukuk (Islamic bonds) by DanaInfra Nasional Bhd in the capital market and only RM5bil would be funded through development expenditure.
“Therefore, it is clear that the Pan-Borneo Highway allocation is a separate allocation and it is not subtracted from the annual budget under the current Malaysia Plan.
“As in previous development plans, Sarawak is one of the states that receives a large allocation which ranges between 7% and 10% annually,” he said in a statement.
Fadillah was responding to Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem’s winding-up speech in last month’s State Legislative Assembly sitting when he raised the matter of the allocation.
Adenan had said that it must be “above and beyond” the Federal Government’s annual development allocation to Sarawak.
“Now they seem to have included the cost of the highway at the expense of their obligation to develop our infrastructure. I am pursuing this point. I want it to be over and above what they usually provide for us,” he had said.
Fadillah said the highway project included the construction and upgrading of 779km of single carriageway road to dual carriageway.
It also involves building and upgrading 115 bridges and constructing three rest and service areas.
“The Government has kept its promise to the rakyat on the construction of the Pan-Borneo Highway in Sarawak,” he said.