KOTA KINABALU: A decision is expected to be made Wednesday (Dec 5) on whether to continue the Pan Borneo Highway project under the current contractors as Sabah believes that a saving of up to RM2bil could be chalked up if it was done under the Public Works Department (PWD).
State Infrastructure Minister Datuk Peter Anthony said that a decision on the project is expected to be made during a meeting between his ministry and the federal Works Ministry when they hold a final meeting on Wednesday (Dec 5).
“I believe that a decision will be made at the federal level and I expect that the Pan Borneo project will be given back to the state PWD to carry out the task,” he told reporters after attending a Sabah JKJ annual gathering here on Tuesday (Dec 4).
He said the state government could save up to RM2bil in cost on the Pan Borneo Highway project if it was done by the state PWD.
Pan Borneo is a signature project of the previous Barisan Nasional government that was pushed by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to link all major towns between Sabah and Sarawak. However, the project has faced repeated delays.
Syarikat Borneo Highway (BHP) PDP Sdn Bhd was appointed the coordinator for the project in Sabah while different contractors were given various parcels of the project.
Anthony said that Sabah PWD had the expertise to handle the project.
He said that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal wants the state to handle the project that will be jointly headed by the Infrastructure Ministry as well the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under the state Finance Ministry.
Anthony did not rule out the possibility of new contractors appointed to carry out the project during the current phase one.
“Some contractors in phase one of the project had been terminated due to poor quality of the work or poor delivery,” Anthony said, adding that he expects both the state and federal government to come up with a decision that will benefit all.
He said the state PWD had provided a full report on the quality of work of the contractors so far and the need to re-look at it.