The capability of the government headed by Barisan Nasional (BN) in implementing mega projects despite facing economic challenges is proof of the government’s high commitment to carry out its duty to develop the country.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said, for example, phase one of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Project Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) route was evident the government was capable of implementing mega projects, in fact at a lower cost, namely, RM21 billion compared to the RM23 billion allocation provided.
“I have launched phase one of the MRT project which was completed according to schedule at a lower cost than the RM23 billion budget provided, but we spent (only) RM21 billion.
“We want to refute the opposition’s allegation that the project costs RM100 billion. This is a slander, sedition and the reality is that BN has carried out the MRT project at a lower cost than the stipulated budget,” he said.
He said this when launching the Pan-Borneo Highway Lahad Datu By-Pass at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Sepagaya in Lahad Datu today.
Other than the MRT project, he said the Pan-Borneo Highway, which was being implemented in stages in Sabah and Sarawak, was a sign the government could still afford to implement mega projects which could change the states’ and region’s development landscape to subsequently meet the promise of the BN government.
“I am here today to show the promise I made to the people, namely, the 1,236km Pan-Borneo Highway Project.
“The first phase of the project, namely, involving 706km at a cost of RM12.85 billion and there are still phase two and three, meaning the expenditure will be much bigger when the project is completed,” he said.
In the meantime, he also gave his assurance the project would be completed so long as the people of Sabah gave their support to the BN government and the people need not waste their time listening to the instigations of the opposition parties.
“As long as there is support, the project will definitely proceed and what is the point of supporting breakaway parties, they can build Pan-Borneo? Cannot. They can only confuse and instigate, don’t be trapped, ask yourself.
“You want a government which can draw up a better future, why pick breakaway parties, we have seen Semangat 46 in the past and other parties, Parti Keadilan Rakyat is sick but Umno and BN live fresh and upright. We don’t want power for the sake of power but we have a big agenda, we have a mission for the people,” he said further.
‘Taking the country towards a better development’
Najib said the people would definitely want a government which could help and take the country towards a better development.
He also wanted the Pan-Borneo Highway project in Sabah initiated under his administration to be remembered by all the people of Sabah.
“I don’t want to mention other eras, I want the people of Sabah to know that this Pan-Borneo is an effort under my administration for the people of Sabah.
“We look at the outcome when it is completed in 2021 or 2022, imagine the future of the people of Sabah, this surely will change Sabah,” he said.
The RM165 million Pan-Borneo Highway Project by-pass in Lahad Datu which is expected to be completed in 2018 started at the Seventh Mile Jalan Silam in Lahad Datu until the Third Mile Jalan Segama, encompassing a distance of seven kilometres.
The project being implemented would entail the construction of a new four-lane dual carriageaway which is set to shorten the distance and travel time of the residents from Tawau to Sandakan, or vice versa, from 17km to seven kilometres.
Among others, the constructions would involve two tierred interchanges and a new 32-metre bridge across Sungai Sepagaya which also took into account seismic (activities) or earthquakes.
Meanwhile, Najib said the Pan-Borneo Highway project must be given not only to big companies but to companies belonging to the people of Sabah and Sarawak.
“I was in Miri, Sarawak yesterday. A total of 12 packages of the Pan-Borneo Highway project have been distributed to companies controlled by locals in Sarawak, meaning we have fulfilled our promise.
“We give to small contractors and we urged the main contractors to pay their sub-contractors, don't bully them. We want surveyors and others to (also) get this project, don’t be greedy and grab all, we share,” he said.