KUCHING: The building of the Pan Borneo Highway, to be largely based on the existing Pan Borneo Trunk Road route, will be fast-tracked, said Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof.
He said the proposed highway would not be completed until 2025 if the conventional method was used.
“The Economic Planning Unit (EPU) is looking at a new mechanism. A company could be set up to oversee the total construction including financing,” Fadillah said when interviewed.
Fadillah, who is PBB Youth Chief, said final cost could change but assured that no toll would be imposed.
During the Budget unveiling on Friday in Parliament, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the highway was estimated at RM27bil.
The long-awaited Pan Borneo Highway was first proposed pre-1963 as a nation building agenda when Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya were still separate entities.
The trunk road is the only land transportation connecting the two Malaysian states on Borneo.
The poor state of the trunk road is always debated in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly, and is probably one of the few topics (as well as the oil and gas issue) that both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat leaders agree on.
Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said basic road and bridge infrastructure in Sarawak were neglected, with the state getting only RM251mil of the PWD’s development fund compared to RM3bil for peninsular Malaysia and RM536mil for Sabah.