Bung: Stubborn residents partly to blame for Pan Borneo Highway holdups

KOTA KINABALU: Stubborn residents are among the reasons cited for the delay in Sabah’s Pan Borneo Highway project apart from Covid-19 restrictions, the state assembly was told.

Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Bung Moktar Radin said in his winding-up speech late Wednesday (Dec 8) that quite a number of residents had refused to move out of their homes and make way for the project even though compensation had been arranged.

“Due to the difficulties faced during this pandemic, we gave them time to find new homes,” he said.

Bung added that the residents will be allowed to stay until the pandemic has turned for the better.

On the government’s part, he said, it was restructuring the project so that construction can proceed and work can be completed earlier.

The issue of the highway and its effects on the overall state road network, floods and other matters were also raised during the winding-up session.

Bung listed the ongoing and planned efforts to minimise flash floods as a result of clogged and improperly built drains throughout the Pan Borneo project, and assured the public that efforts have been taken to solve the problem.

He said a strict cleaning schedule and proper drainage system have been set for this purpose.

On other matters, he said the various road construction and upgrading works, as well as railroad projects promised to the people prior to GE14, are in the midst of implementation, including the Halogilat-Tenom railway and Kota Kinabalu-Kudat proposal.

“The Kota Kinabalu-Kudat railway project is expected to cost over RM5bil and RM1mil has been set aside to research its feasibility,” Bung said, adding that the study would begin early next year.

On water woes, he noted various measures taken such as water treatment plants built in over 10 districts in Sabah including Kota Kinabalu, Tawau, Moyog, Tamparuli, Silam, Kunak, Limbahau and Karamunting.

Bung, who is Lamag assemblyman, said that although the RM77.10mil supply budget and RM244.97 development budget allocated for the state Works Ministry was insufficient, it would do what was necessary to address pressing issues.