Wednesday 1 April 2015

Puzzling Pan Borneo Highway

Prime Minister launched the first phase of Pan Borneo Highway and said that the Sarawak portion will be toll-free.

According to an earlier report,

The RM27 billion Pan Borneo Highway project is not a privatised project but comes under the Private Funding Initiative (PFI) where the company awarded the project will have to raise the necessary funds to construct the road first. 
"I was made to understand that it is a PFI, though at the end of the day the Government will pay back the company," said Rural and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal. 
The only difference compared to the PFI road projects in Semenanjung, he said, was that there would be no toll in Sabah.
Why let the private company raise fund and pay them back later? The borrowing cost is unlikely to be cheaper than government's borrowing cost.

Transparency PLEASE!!!

Also in the article, it is also interesting to note that:

Fellow opposition Sabah Star head Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan also said the Sabah government should insist that the Sabah section of the highway be built without any Malayan companies as the main contractor to avoid skimming of the contract sum and ending up with lower quality roads. "It should learn from the Sarawak road quality experience," he said. "No Malayan Umno companies or cronies are involved in the Sarawak section, he said: "If one were to take a leisurely drive in Lawas, Sarawak, some 850km from Kuching, one would notice that the roads in Lawas are wider by two feet and of better quality than those in Sabah. "Not only are Sabah roads narrower, they are full of potholes even in Kota Kinabalu." 
He said the roads in Sabah were of poor quality due to the practice of sub-contract over sub-contract of the project, which resulted in many being forced to cut corners due to low prices. 
"In Sarawak, they do not allow Umno-linked companies to be involved and due to the non-skimming at the top, there are better prices for Sarawak contractors," he said. 
"It was not surprising and wise of the Sarawak government to name Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn. Bhd to undertake the Sarawak portion of the Pan Borneo Highway and to reject any involvement by the Malayan Umno-linked companies," he said. 
"Regardless whether they are from Umno or not, the Sabah government should adopt a similar stand to reject any Malayan company involvement in the Sabah Pan-Borneo Highway, to ensure Sabah contractors benefit from the construction and to prevent skimming of the contract sums.

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