Kalimantan Awaits Highway Spin-Offs
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Kota Kinabalu: Indonesians, especially in Kalimantan, can look forward to the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway, said Indonesian Consul-General to Kota Kinabalu, Akhmad DH Irfan.
"While the highway project does not involve Indonesia's Kalimantan per se, I believe it will spur tourism as well as trade for both regions once it is completed and boost connectivity along with the Trans-Kalimantan Highway," he said during a courtesy call by the Sabah Journalists Association (SJA) committee members at his office on Monday, 9 October.
The visit was led by SJA President Muguntan Vanar.
Another good news for Indonesians in Sabah, Akhmad said, is the possibility of reviving the Kota Kinabalu-Jakarta flight route which would benefit both regions.
Noting the hassle of longer time to fly to Jakarta via Kuala Lumpur without direct flights, Akhmad said with the availability of such route, it would be easier to promote and market tourism.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, when contacted, confirmed that discussions are ongoing with related parties, but the actual commencement date has not been finalised although the target is by year-end.
He also disclosed that based on previous discussions, Lion Air Indonesia â€“ Malindo Air's sister company - is expected to be servicing the route.
Meanwhile, future familiarisation (FAM) trips for media practitioners in Sabah to Kalimantan was among the topics discussed during the courtesy call.
"We have done such trips in the past at different locationsâ€¦hope to organise similar programmes again soon.
"Besides building a network between the media fraternities in Sabah and neighbouring Kalimantan, the press can promote future (government to government) endeavours like collaboration on electricity generation where Kalimantan can help to channel some to Sabah which still faces power interruptions," Akhmad told the committee.