The second phase of the Pan Borneo Highway will not be affected by recent plans to build the 415km Sarawak-Sabah Link Road as the government is committed to building both road links, said Works Minister Baru Bian.
He said the construction of the Sarawak-Sabah Link Road, which was approved in April this year, is seen as a project that will benefit 100,000 residents in rural Miri, Limbang and Lawas.
“It will not affect the second phase of the Pan Borneo Highway. There may be slight delays, but it is just a matter of timing,” Baru told reporters at the Parliament lobby yesterday.
In February, Baru announced that the ministry was looking for funding for works on phase two of the Pan Borneo Highway, which stretches from Miri to Lawas ahead of targeted construction works in 2020. It was estimated that the 250km route would cost RM3.5 billion to construct.
A study on the costs of the project is still being carried out, although Baru said the project could start as early as next year.
The first phase of the highway, which covers 706km in Sabah, at a cost of RM12.86 billion, is slated to be fully completed by end-2021.
On the Sarawak-Sabah Link Road, Baru recently announced that construction on the new link is expected to commence in the first quarter of next year, with an estimated cost of RM5.35 billion. The road stretches from Long Lama to Lawas in Sarawak and ends in Sindumin, Sabah.
Baru said the road would benefit locals by strengthening eco-tourism and agro-tourism activities.
“The ministry is of the view that if we have the additional budget, we should spend it on new networks that would benefit a great number of people in rural areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, Baru said the ministry has not received any official takeover offer from Maju Holdings Bhd for PLUS Malaysia Bhd.
It was reported last month that Maju Holdings had submitted a fresh proposal to take over PLUS Malaysia — its second attempt in two years.
It was said that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had confirmed speculation that Maju Holdings group executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed, had put in a bid. The company, which has always expressed its interest in taking over PLUS, had put in an offer worth RM36 billion in mid-2017.