PAPAR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Pan Borneo Highway Sabah (PBHS) project has the highest impact on Sabah and will bring the state to a higher level in terms of socio-economic development.
“Yes, we have many projects in Sabah such as Sipitang Oil & Gas Industrial Park (SOGIP), Sabah Oil & Gas Terminal (SOGT), Lahad Datu Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).
“We construct rural roads, implement electricity and water projects, build public housing and many more since Sabah joined Malaysia.
“Of all these projects, the Pan Borneo Highway Sabah project is the single most impactful project for Sabah,” he said at the launch of PBHS project in Kampung Andus, Papar attended by over 20,000 people from all walks of life.
Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, federal and state ministers.
Najib said PBHS will have high impact on Sabah and its people because the development will be in the form of a quantum leap, unlike other projects.
The launch of PBHS also proved the commitment of Barisan Nasional (BN) in delivering its 2013 general election manifesto to implement it in five years.
PBHS covers 2,300 kilometres from Semantan in Sarawak to Serudong in Sabah.
“BN fulfills its pledge to the people. It is not a party which practises the politics of hate and provocation. This is the Opposition.
“BN has a vision for the future, a socio-economic development plan to transform Sabah. We can deliver real things that benefit the people of Malaysia and Sabah.
“This is what we must differentiate from those who sow promises, with those who sow slander and those who confuse the people. We cannot depend on them, we cannot hope for anything from them (those who sow slander). We can only depend and shelter under the BN umbrella,” he said.
Najib also regarded the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway project ‘the real game changer for Sabah’ because the project comprised a four-lane highway network starting from Sindumin to Tuaran, Kudat, Ranau, Lahad Datu, Tawau and then Tawau to Kimanis and Kota Kinabalu.
He said despite having less income, following the fall in oil prices in the international market, the first phase of the non-toll highway, costing RM12.86 billion and expected to be completed by 2021, was continued for a more prolific development of Sabah in the future.
According to Najib three starting packages for the project would be offered next month, namely, the 11.7 km Papar-Donggongon package, Jalan Tawau-Semporna (five kilometres) and Lahad Datu Bypass (seven kilometres) which were part of the first phase in the construction of the 706 km highway.
Meanwhile, Najib wanted the project to be ‘the most democratic and inclusive’ ever implemented with all quarters being given their rights fairly in numerous aspects of implementation of the project.
“This project is not only for big companies. We give to companies belonging to the people of Sabah on condition they are capable. Don’t sell the project, don’t embezzle the money. Do it properly, deliver on time, because we promised the people. We (will) blacklist such companies, we give to genuine and capable Sabah companies,” he said.
According to Najib, he also did not want the project to be given to only large contractors, on the other hand, F class contractors should also have their share in the project.
“The people in Sabah are already in high spirit. We galvanise the minds of the people of Sabah so that they can also progress more prolifically. This is the philosophy behind the Pan Borneo project. Not explicit but implicit in my aspiration as prime minister. I want Sabah to be more developed, to be more at the forefront, to a much higher level in the next several years…worth it for Sabah to be together with Malaysia,” he said.