SIBU: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic) says he will ensure that the "mistakes" in the construction of Bakun Hydro Dam will not be repeated in the building of the Pan Borneo Highway.
Speaking at the launching of Phase 4 of the highway project linking Bintangor junction to Sungai Kua Bridge, Najib said only highly qualified contractors would be selected for the construction work.
"Bakun project was not built during my leadership. I say don't make the same mistakes like (what had happened to) Bakun where it was built by incapable contractors.
"For Pan Borneo Highway, we will only give to credible contractors to do the job," he said.
The Bakun dam project, which was completed 18 months behind schedule, saw the construction cost increased from the initial RM6bil to RM15bil.
Najib said he does not want the people to label the Pan Borneo Highway as a mega project as this would scare the people.
"This project carries a far wider meaning as local bumiputra contractors with Class F status are also benefiting from it. This shows that there is a sense of ownership on the project," he said.
A total of 78 Class F bumiputra contractors received the certificate of appointment with work worth RM533mil out of the RM1.7bil from this phase of the project.