Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the most pertinent factor being weighed was the government’s current financial position. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said the most pertinent factor being weighed was the government’s current financial position. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 —The government has studied and considered various factors and implications in regard to the proposed abolition of highway tolls in the country, according to Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

He said the most pertinent factor being weighed was the government’s current financial position. 

“In this regard, the direction for tolled highways in Malaysia is being reviewed and a Cabinet memorandum will be tabled for approval,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Meanwhile, the minister reiterated that the mitigation plan and follow-up action to improve the implementation model of the Pan Borneo Highway project were being executed.

He said the government respects the previous administration’s decision to modify the implementation model.

“The termination of the project delivery partner (PDP) was initially expected to save costs for the government as there would be no requirement to pay PDP fees.

“However, the implementation model change did not take into account a number of issues, which the government is addressing,” he said.

He said the issues pertained to project administration, contract change, staff welfare, capacity enhancement and technical expertise.

In terms of progress, Fadillah said as of June 2020, phase one of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway project stood at 32 per cent for 11 work packages that were being implemented. 

He said contracts for three new work packages, and one work package which had been terminated, involving the Tawau-Semporna route, were being tendered out and expected to be finalised this year.

“This brings the number of committed work packages to 15, which will continue to be implemented in the 11thMalaysia Plan and fully funded by the Federal Government.

“The implementation of the remaining 20 work packages for phase one of the Sabah Pan Borneo Highway project is subject to the government’s financial capability for the 12th Malaysia Plan,” he said.

He said two of the 11 work packages for the Sarawak Pan Borneo Highway project, namely package one, from Telok Melano to Sematan, opened in January 2019, and the Kick Off Project package, from Nyabau Intersection to Bakun stretching 43 km, was completed in December 2019. 

“Construction progress as of June 2020 for other work packages that are actively being implemented is at 52 per cent,” said Fadillah. — Bernama