by Dr Hiew King Cheu
It is rather upsetting and disheartening to listen to the comments made by the Federal Assistant Works Minister Datuk Yong Khoon Seng. Yong recently commented that if the government were to upgrade the Pan Borneo trunk road from a single lane road to a Dual Carriageway, Malaysian would have to pay toll of RM0.60 per kilometer.
That means, for a 1,000 km road, we will have to pay a total of RM600 in toll. Yong said it would be better to fly by air than to pay RM600 to travel on a high quality road.
He also said to improve Sabah’s roads to be on par with Peninsular Malaysia would cost RM30 to RM40 million per kilometer. So, Yong says that the BN government would rather upgrade the Pan Borneo trunk road until 2025.
This reflects the incapability of the BN government to deliver and execute their responsibility to bring better roads and infrastructure to the people. The people are getting tired of excuses and cover ups.
The example of using RM30 to 40 million to construct a dual carriageway is ridiculous and outrageous. Any road contractor will tell you that the quoted price is unbelievably sky high.
The Assistant Minister had also previously stated that to upgrade the 1,200 km of trunk road from R3 standard (single lane carriageway) to R5 standard (Dual carriageway) will cost RM7 billion. This works out to be RM5.833 million per kilometer.
So why does he say that the Pan Borneo trunk road would cost RM30 to 40 million per kilometer?
Sabahans are sick of the substandard roads which are part of the Trans-Borneo or Pan-Borneo Highway. The condition of the roads are really bad especially the stretch linking from Telupid to Sandakan, Labuak Road Mile32 Check-point to Lahad Datu, Tawau to Kalabakan, Kalabakan to Sapulut.
The road from Kota Kinabalu to Sipitang should have long been upgraded to R5 standard dual carriage, but until today there is no sight of any planning and work being carried out.
Meanwhile, the people continue to suffer and risk their life on these treacherous roads. The safety of the road users have been compromised.
The people in Sabah and Sarawak are not demanding the same high standard like those roads in the West Malaysia, because we know we will be penalized by paying high toll money to the BN cronies like what the West Malaysians are paying.
We merely asked for a standard road with level surface without potholes and bumps, and with enough road lights and road signs. Is this something too difficult to ask for?
BN cannot deliver but choose to bully us by telling us that it is very expensive to build us the R5 standard dual carriageway.
Sabahan will not be threatened by this type of irresponsible talk from the Assistant Works Minister. If they cannot do it, it is better for them to hand over the job and let Pakatan Rakyat carry it out. -The Rocket