KUCHING: Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing is hoping that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government will not change the modus operandi for the construction of the RM29 billion Pan Borneo Highway project for political expediency.
“Please do not change or repair the engine that works. We cannot afford to have too many U-turns in our Pan Borneo Highway planning and development,” he told New Sarawak Tribune.
The Deputy Chief Minister was responding to Works Minister Baru Bian who was quoted as saying that the federal Cabinet would reveal its decision soon on the Project Delivery Partner (PDP) model for the highway project.
Masing noted that the construction of the highway project is progressing well under the present management.
“I have been duly briefed from time to time on the project’s progress and I am satisfied,” he said.
Masing said the any delay of the project will affect Sarawak’s economic development.
“So, do not politicise infrastructure development in the state. We have waited 55 years to have a highway which runs from the west to east.
“Please, don’t spoil our dreams of being on par with Malaya in infrastructure development. Malaya has developments which cost billions,” he added.
He also told Baru Bian not to be pushed around, but to stand up and fight.
“It is our turn to push the Malayans and plan for what is good for us. Think of Sarawak First, you are anak Sarawak,” Masing reminded Baru.
Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd is currently the PDP for the project in Sarawak.
The highway project is expected to be completed in 2021 and is now 70 per cent completed.