KINABATANGAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has launched the Sabah Eastern Zone Pan Borneo Highway for the Sandakan-Kinabatangan-Beluran-Telupid alignment.
The Prime Minister said the project involves three packages, namely package 28, 29 and 30 that run over 58km involving a cost of RM877mil, Bernama reported.
He said the scope of the project involved works to upgrade the road from a single to dual carriageway, construction of three bridges and a multi-level interchange.
“When completed, the route would be a comfortable, efficient and safe access for residents,” he said at the launching ceremony at Dataran Tamu Pekan, Kota Kinabatangan, yesterday.
Also present were Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, Deputy Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, and Deputy Works Minister Datuk Arthur Joseph Kurup.
Ismail Sabri said construction for the project started this month and is scheduled to be completed in three years’ time in October 2024.
He said the route would also facilitate logistics and marketing of agricultural produce in Telupid and would also help promote tourism around Sandakan.
“The implementation of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway proves the commitment of the Federal Government in developing a planned, systematic and efficient road infrastructure network for the Malaysian Family here.
“It is to ensure better socioeconomic development to benefit the people in this state in line with the 12th Malaysia Plan which is the Malaysian Family – A Prosperous, Inclusive and Sustainable Malaysia,” he said.
On concerns of Internet access problems in Sabah’s rural areas, the Prime Minister said under the National Digital Network (Jendela) programme, the government has allocated RM3.5bil to build 534 telecommunication towers in the state.
The Jendela project will be completed in two years, he added.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said there are 105 new projects costing RM1.9bil for Sabah such as the upgrading of roads, electricity supply and clean water.
Also approved were the construction of a new multi-purpose hall in Kota Kinabatangan costing RM6mil, a RM3mil Kota Kinabatangan public market and a waste disposal centre in Kinabatangan costing RM3mil. he added.
At the media conference after the ceremony, the Prime Minister said the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) is one of the methods being studied to expedite the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway.
“There are delays in the (project) implementation as the previous government cancelled the PDP (Project Delivery Partner) concept, therefore this time we must find a way to ensure the project is implemented fast for the people; among them, PFI is being studied and discussed,” he said.