Shafie Apdal disappointed that Tawau is left out of Trans Borneo Railway Project route

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal expresses his disappointment that the east coast of Sabah was left out of the Trans Borneo Railway Project route.

the former Chief Minister said that Tawau already has an existing business relationship with Kalimantan, Indonesia’s future capital city.

“Most of the items, such as shoes and clothes, sold in Kalimantan come from Tawau, which clearly shows the trade relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia, through Sabah, has long existed,” he said.

Touching on Labuan, he said the island has the potential to be developed as a financial hub and could be the nearest stop for traders and businesses to carry out their financial transactions and business dealings.

“Unfortunately, areas such as Tawau and Labuan are not in the (train project) framework,” he said, adding that the proposed train project, which links Kuching, Sarawak; Kota Kinabalu, Sabah; Brunei and Kalimantan, Indonesia, would be a catalyst for developing the economies in these areas.

Speaking after a breaking-of-fast event at Kampung Emas in Kota Belud on Sunday (March 31), he said he would raise the issue with the Sabah Chief Minister and also in Parliament.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, in a statement on Sunday, described the proposed project as opening up connectivity among the people on the world's third-largest island.

Brunei-based Brunergy Utama Sdn Bhd announced it would be embarking on the Trans Borneo Railway project, which it proposed to be implemented in two phases involving routes spanning 1,620km.

The first phase would connect cities on Borneo's west coast to the east coast, beginning in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, and ending in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah while the second phase would involve north and east Kalimantan connecting the main route with Samarinda and to the new Indonesian capital Nusantara in Indonesia.

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