PM pledges to help with phase 2

Impressive: Ismail Sabri (centre), Abang Johari (right) and Fadillah attended the opening of the Serian section of the Pan-Borneo Highway yesterday. — Bernama

SERIAN: The government will ensure construction continuity for phase 2 of Sarawak’s portion of the Pan-Borneo Highway from Limbang - Lawas, said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister said the allocation for phase two of the project was approved by the previous Barisan Nasional government, but construction was halted after the Pakatan Harapan administration took over in 2018.

“When the government changed to Pakatan, the project was cancelled and that is why phase two of the Pan-Borneo Highway cannot be continued,” he said during the launch here yesterday.

If construction for phase two of the Pan-Borneo Highway had resumed, locals in Serian would have enjoyed better roads resulting in economic development that would boost the township located 50km from Kuching, he said.

“Putrajaya sees this project as important for Sarawakians, as it will not only facilitate travel, but also spur economic development.”

Ismail Sabri also said Putrajaya would conduct a detailed study on the construction of the “missing link”, which is the Kuala Baram junction to the Sungai Tujoh immigration and customs complex.

“I give my commitment, together with Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, that we want to move forward with phase two of the Pan-Borneo Highway and the ‘missing link’.

“We will not stop here and we will ensure that this project continues,” he said.

The alignment of the Serian section of the Pan-Borneo Highway is 33.65km long.

The construction involved upgrading works on Jalan Persekutuan, from the Serian roundabout to Balai Ringin, with a project cost of RM700mil.

Fadillah also thanked Putrajaya for committing to the construction of the highway, saying that this reflected the good relations between the state government and Putrajaya.

“Serian has transformed into a modern town and this is our achievement,” he said.

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