The multi-billion ringgit Sabah portion of the Pan Borneo Highway project has been a cause of concern for the public as there have been delays to the construction.
With 12 out of 35 packages so far on the ground and three more years to go before its scheduled completion, the public is starting to doubt the project will be completed on time.
The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) on Tuesday (9 March 2019) took the initiative to organize a workshop to engage with all the relevant stakeholders in hopes to minimize delays.
Its Chairman Tan Sri Simon Sipaun said it was important for the stakeholders meet "eyeball to eyeball" in order to resolve issues which have contributed to the project's delay.
"I hope the workshop will be able to identify the real problems which caused the long delay in the implementation of the project and come up with an effective solution.
"In the event that you're not on the same page, I hope that following this workshop you will have a better understanding and appreciate one another's point of view.
"The cumulative effect should result in the ability to minimize, if not eliminate, current problems and assist towards the smoother and faster realization of the project," he said at the opening of the workshop.
He noted that one of the main causes of the long delay is the acquisition of private lands.
Based on the Master Implementation Plan presented to workshop participants by Borneo Highway PDP Sdn Bhd (PDP), the award of last work package was on 23 March last year.
Currently, there is a balance of 23 packages still to be awarded.
"We're still waiting for the government to decide on the 23 packages," company acting chief executive officer Muhammad Fadzil Abdul Hamid said.
He had also said that the project needed a new approach to ensure its smooth progress and to avoid leakages.