PENAMPANG: The government is serious and determined to quickly resolve infrastructure problems faced by states including Sabah, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
However, he said the Federal Government would need close cooperation from states to ensure proper planning and smooth implementation of projects to overcome such problems, including those concerning water supply, road and education infrastructure.
Anwar said he was personally committed to resolving Sabah's woes, as evident from his third visit to the state as Prime Minister to have a first-hand view of the situation in the Land Below the Wind.
"So, I have decided that tomorrow morning, I will have a high-level meeting involving the federal and state governments to resolve the water problem together with the state government," he said when speaking at the closing ceremony of Pesta Kaamatan 2023 at Dewan Hongkod Koisaan, Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) here on Wednesday (May 31).
Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin officiated at the closing, and among those present were Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan, who is also Pesta Kaamatan 2023 organising committee chairman, and KDCA president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Anwar said action was being taken to ensure that the Pan Borneo Highway project as well as road repair and maintenance works in Sabah could be implemented speedily for the benefit of the people in the state.
He said to smoothen the implementation, part of the repair and maintenance works would be handed over to the state government in accordance with national financial regulations and policies.
"Recently, the allocations for repairing roads were also increased, with the biggest chunk going to Sabah. We have asked for immediate action," he added.
On May 16, Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Shahelmey Yahya, who is also state Works Minister, was reported as saying that 15 work packages under Phase 1 of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway project, which has reached 79.06% construction, were scheduled to be fully completed at the end of next year.
Anwar also praised the efforts made by Hajiji to settle infrastructure problems in the state, describing him as a good example of a leader who has the people's interests at heart.
The Prime Minister said when he arrived in Sabah at about 1am today, Hajiji was so enthusiastic about discussing infrastructure issues that Anwar had to jokingly tell him that he needed time to sleep before resuming their talks.
"Hajiji showed great concern. This is the type of leader we want, not those who ask about projects and shares for themselves. But Hajiji asked about additional projects for Sabah people," he said. – Bernama