The federal government is considering having the Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway skip Brunei Darussalam to avoid the hassle of numerous passport checks for motorists, said Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
He said feedback from the grassroots indicated a preference for a road connecting Miri and Limbang via Marudi to prevent motorists from Sabah or Sarawak from having to travel through Brunei Darussalam.
"Among the proposals is the upgrading of roads built under the Jiwa Murni project in Marudi" he said at a dinner organised by leaders of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) here Saturday night.
Fadillah said this would do away with the hassle of having to go through immigration at the borders with Brunei Darussalam.
He also said that the proposal was among the options to be considered if discussions relating to immigration at Brunei Darussalam's borders with Sabah and Sarawak remained unresolved.
Fadillah said he would raise the matter with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Najib had announced in December last year the establishment of a joint technical committee with Brunei Darussalam to eliminate bureaucracy at these borders by looking into the possibility of travel without passport checks.
Najib had been quoted as saying that Malaysians in Sabah and Sarawak, as well as Brunei citizens, had to pass through eight Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) checkpoints if they drove one way from Sarawak through Brunei Darussalam to Sabah.
By commuting to and fro, a motorist would have his or her passport stamped 16 times, he had said.
This situation is unavoidable because a part of Sarawak is wedged between Brunei Darussalam.
Meanwhile, on another matter, Fadillah said PBB Youth which he heads had been mobilised to get feedback from youths in the state for inclusion in the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan.