Niah stretch of the pan Borneo trunk road.

Niah stretch of the pan Borneo trunk road.

The first phase of pan Borneo highway project likely to be launched in Bintulu over the next few months according reliable sources.

The authorities still ironing out the details including expanding current trunk road or building a new highway altogether.

It is learnt that there are issues of upgrading current trunk road – particularly as it will involve removing hundred of longhouses being built close to the road – a thorny political issue.

The other options being that Government will re-acquired lands currently leased to plantations for building the highway.

According to Minister of Rural Development recently, the project likely to be funded by private sectors via PFI (private financing iniatives).

“I was made to understand that it is a PFI, though at the end of the day the Government will pay back the company,” Rural and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal told Sabah’s Daily Express.

The highway will span 1,663-km comprising 936 km in Sarawak and 727 km in Sabah at a total construction cost of RM27 billion.