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Friday, December 23, 2016

Stop Harping and Bragging on Pan Borneo Highway, It's Incomplete and 35 Years Late – Dr. Jeffrey

KOTA KINABALU - “Sabahans are being hoodwinked and misled every now and then by the PM and the Sabah CM on the building of the Pan-Borneo Highway.

It is nothing more than an election gimmick and trumpet blowing on a highway which is already 35 years late in building” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Bingkor Assemblyman, in response to the rhetoric’s on the Highway after launching of a short Lahad Datu stretch by PM Najib on Monday.

“What is there to harp and brag about on the Pan-Borneo Highway when it should have been built from the 1980s despite big promises made in 1962 and 1963 to develop Sabah which induced Sabah into agreeing to give up 60% of its revenues to cover the costs of development and security?” asked Dr. Jeffrey.

“What is there to brad about when there is no dual carriage Highway built to link Kota Belud, Kudat, Tambunan, Keningau or Tongod? Even some existing trunk roads are not even, some even wavier than the calm waters off Kota Kinabalu”.

“What is there to brag about when there are only 5 flyovers with 3 in the process of building in the whole of Sabah, which is in area larger than 6 States in Malaya?”

“What is there to brag about when almost all kampong roads especially in the interior areas are gravel, mud-roads or ex-logging tracks and many villagers having to rely on rain-water or gravity-fed water from the hills?”

“What is there to brag about the Pan-Borneo being 4-lanes, dual carriageway when highways in Malaya are already 8-lanes and 10-lanes?  Even the kampong road in obsure Jementah town in Johor is a new and evenly paved 4-lane highway? added Dr. Jeffrey.

Even if the federal government stop all road developments in Malaya and channel all resources to Sabah and Sarawak, it will take 20 years of road development for Sabah to catch up to be on the same level as Malaya. That is how far behind Sabah lags behind Malaya.

Yet for the tens of billion ringgit taken from Sabah annually, with an additional RM16.66 billion from the new Malikai oil-field starting later this month, Sabahans are being taken for a ride with the rhetorics on the Pan-Borneo Highway as if it is God-sent.
From another perspective, the Federal government will be spending RM55 billion on the East Coast Rail Link from Port Klang to Terengganu and Kelantan, which will only benefit only a handful of Sabahans and Sarawakians when they use this rail link. Yet, the repayment of this RM55 billion loan will likely from the oil and gas stolen from Sabah and Sarawak.

The PM and Malayans should be thankful to Sabah and Sarawak for what they are enjoying in terms of road development in Malaya. If not for the oil and gas revenues from Sabah and Sarawak, some of the Malayan roads would still be gravel or mud roads.

If the PM and Sabah CM wish to say anything good about highways in Sabah, they should immediately announce that RM55 billion is to be allocated to build highways, bridges and rural roads in Sabah, all evenly sealed, for the use and benefit of all Malaysians in Sabah. If not, it is better to remain silent, for silence is golden, as the saying goes.

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