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Shafie tells state assembly he was not responsibe for delay in Pan Borneo highway project

Publish date: Mon, 22 Apr 2024, 04:06 PM

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan denies that it is responsible for the delay of the Pan Borneo Highway, its president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said today.

Quoting the 2019 Audit Report, the Senallang assemblyman said it was the then federal government that decided to terminate the project delivery partner (PDP) involved in the construction of the highway.

"During that time, the then finance minister (Lim Guan Eng) had said that 5.5 per cent out of the RM12 billion, which was almost RM700 million in fees, was to be paid to the PDP.

"That is why I want to inform that it was the then government that decided that it was the best method to terminate the agreement between the federal government and the PDP.

"It was not the (decision) of the state government," said the former chief minister (during 2018 and 2020) when debating at the state assembly sitting here.

In the audit report, Shafie also said that it cost about RM33 million for land acquisition in Sarawak that was meant for the construction of the road but the amount for Sabah was RM1.2 billion.

He also denied that the then-Warisan government had stopped any contractors from continuing with the highway project.

However, Shafie said that after the termination of the PDP, the project was given to the Public Works Department in Sabah and Sarawak respectively.

"Why would we give it to the PDP? It had no engineers in Tawau, Kimanis, Kudat and Sandakan. But there were engineers at PWD. Why don't we make use of them as we need not pay (additional fees)?

"PDP also found out in the audit report that (some) of those companies were not qualified financially and were inexperienced ( in handling road construction). Why give (the projects) to such sub-contractors?"

Meanwhile, Sabah Deputy Chief Minister-cum-state Public Works minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya said the PDP was a joint venture between a Sabah-based company and two other companies.

"I would like to clarify that it was not my firm as during that time, between 2016 and 2018, I was only a managing director.

"Whatever happened, it is merely a difference of views."

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