MIRI: Bureaucratic formalities involving land travel between Malaysia and Brunei will be resolved soon, says Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He said the Brunei government had in principle agreed to resolve the issue of bureaucracy along the common border with Malaysia and had set up a technical committee for the purpose.
“The technical committee is looking into facilitating land journeys without the need for passport checks,” he told reporters after launching eight packages of the Pan Borneo Highway for Sarawak, costing a total of RM12.5 billion, here today.
“This matter is being studied and we should be getting a final decision soon,” he added.
Najib said at present, Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak and the people of Brunei had to go through eight Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complexes.
He said this resulted in the passports of those frequently commuting between Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei, to be stamped as many as 16 times.
When asked about the construction of the five-kilometre Batang Lupar Bridge, Najib confirmed that the federal government was currently in discussions with the Sarawak government over the matter. The bridge is slated to be built in 2018 as the cost of construction is to be shared by both governments.
“It is expected to cost RM1 billion, and when completed, will be the longest bridge in South East Asia,” he said.
He added that once the bridge was completed, Sarawak would have two highways which would benefit the people living along the coastline and interior of the state.
Najib also said the bridge would be part of the Sarawak coastal highway while the Pan Borneo Highway would connect those living in the interior areas. -FMT