KUCHING: The proposed Trans-Borneo Highway, which is expected to start soon and link the highlands of Sarawak, Sabah and Kalimantan, will boost development in the area when completed, said Works Minister Baru Bian.
He described the project as a loop in the centre of Borneo which would open up land for development along its alignment.
This would be further spurred by the relocation of Indonesia’s capital from Jakarta to east Kalimantan, he said.
“I believe this will be a catalyst that will spur economic activities in the coming years. With the connectivity of roads, we can have economic activities and tourism coming in, ” he said at a Chinese New Year open house hosted by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How at the Stampin PKR office here.
Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin was also present at the open house.
Baru said work on the Sabah portion of the project from Kalabakan to Serudong would start this year.
In Budget 2020, RM600mil was allocated for the 40km road project, including a customs, immigration, quarantine and security complex in Serudong.
“The project should be initiated by August or later this year. The tender will come out, ” he said.
From Serudong, Baru said the proposed highway would go on to Simenggaris, Melinau, Kerayan and Long Bawan in Kalimantan before crossing to Ba’Kelalan in Sarawak.
It will then connect to the Sabah-Sarawak link road, for which construction will start this year, to Long Pasia in Sabah, where a new road would be built to Sapulut to take travellers back to Kalabakan.
“It is a big project and a combination of the Sabah-Sarawak link road, while the portion in Sabah from Long Pasia to Sapulut and Kalabakan will take some time.
“I can safely say that in the next 10 years the whole project will be completed, ” Baru said.
He said he would visit Kalimantan in March to go through the proposed highway alignment with his counterparts there.
“We will be working with the Indonesian government. They are aggressive about developing Kalimantan because they see it as potential for them, ” he added.
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