LABUAN: The Federal Government views seriously the delay in implementing the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah, which lags behind Sarawak, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He said that the implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah, with a cost exceeding RM16 billion, is delayed.

“The Pan Borneo Highway project in Sarawak is almost complete, while Sabah is still lagging. The allocation amount is the same, and the implementation date is the same,“ he said during a meet-and-greet session at Dewan Konvensyen Ujana Kewangan Labuan here today.

To expedite the implementation of this highway project, Anwar announced that a new appointment process through transparent tenders would be initiated and that the decision would be made jointly with the Sabah State Government to appoint contractors capable of completing the project.

“If there are contractors who are capable and competent, including those from Sabah, please participate in the tenders. It’s not because they support us, are our cronies, or our children. If this can be done, I believe the progress of this project will run more smoothly and benefit the people of Sabah,“ he said.

Overall, the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah consists of a total of 35 work packages in Phase One, with 16 of them in Phase 1a already underway, while the remaining 19 packages in Phase 1b have not started.

The total length of all work packages is estimated to be 706 kilometres.

In contrast to Sarawak, the entire Pan Borneo Highway project in that neighbouring state is expected to be fully completed next year.

Meanwhile, Anwar said that the issue of dilapidated schools nationwide will continue to receive attention from the Federal Government.

“We talk about digital reform, artificial intelligence (AI), but the condition of some schools is still substandard, with students attending schools with damaged toilets,“ he said.

Anwar stated that over the past year, under the MADANI Government's administration, more than 8,500 school toilets across the country, including Chinese and Tamil national-type schools, have been repaired.

The Prime Minister also mentioned that the Federal Government will pay attention to the inadequacies of housing for civil servants, security forces personnel, and the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) area.

“This will be a focus of the Federal Government next year,“ he said. -Bernama

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