I Will Fight for Pan Borneo Highway, Says Works Minister
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Works Minister Baru Bian wants to erase any doubt about the Pan Borneo Highway project as he again stresses that the project shall continue.
“A far as I am concerned and I have said it before, I would like to see that the Pan Borneo Highway be pursued and completed because it is the only highway in Sarawak and Sabah,” he told reporters during a visit to Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) Complex at Jalan Sultan Tengah in Petra Jaya here yesterday.
He pointed out that he would continue to fight for the project to be pursued and completed.
“If someone else wants to stop or cancel it (Pan Borneo Highway), I will fight (for the project to continue) because I really feel that the project should be done,” he asserted.
However, Baru also pointed out that there was still a possibility to talk and discuss ways to reduce the cost of the project.
On another matter, he said the federal government was still prepared to assist the Sarawak government to pay the allowance of community leaders and village chiefs in Sarawak, saying that RM35 million had been allocated for next year.
Having said this, he also pointed out that the community leaders and village heads must be elected by the villagers and not appointed just because they were friendly to the government of the day.
“We (federal government) are prepared to assist the state government in this matter. However, we have made a caveat that we will only assist to pay the allowance to those who have been properly elected by the ‘kampung' (village) people,” he said, adding that those in such position must have the support of the villagers.
Baru also regarded the Sarawak government's memorandum for community leaders and village chiefs to only attend functions organised by Sarawak government as a hindrance for these leaders.
“As community leaders and village chiefs, these people are the representatives for the village, and there may be many Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders and agencies coming to the villages to discuss with them on various issues like development and corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes to help the villages, schools and children, and also lots of other things.
“So if you put some kind of requirements, I think it will be very difficult for them to act for the people (villagers),” he pointed out.