KUCHING: A proposal to build a road network along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border is being studied by the federal government.
Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said his ministry is doing this following the impending relocation of Indonesia’s capital to East Kalimantan.
Fadillah said this is part of a review of the Highway Network Development Plan (HNDP) 2030 for Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan.
“The ministry has taken the initiative to include the proposed border road network in the scope of the study.
“The application to carry out this study has been submitted for consideration by the federal agencies under the Rolling Plan 2 of the Twelfth Malaysia Plan (12MP).
“The construction of the road network will depend on the findings of the study, its priority level, and the government’s financial capability,” he said during his winding-up speech in Parliament today (Sept 22).
He was responding to a question by Batang Lupar MP Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim.
Earlier this year, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing called for the construction of a RM24-billion road along the 1,032-km border to enhance border security.
He said there are at least 70 illegal routes scattered between Telok Melano in the south and Lawas in the north which need to be sealed off.
“It may sound big but build it we must, if we are serious about stopping PATI (illegal
immigrants) infiltrating into Sarawak territory,” he said in January.
To a question from Betong MP Datuk Robert Lawson Chuat, Fadillah said there will be three Rest and Service Areas (RSA) along the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway.
“These rest stations in Jelukong, Sungai Basai and Lambir with an area of 10 acres each will provide spaces for local entrepreneurs to operate eateries and markets,” he said.