KOTA KINABALU, April 22 — Parti Warisan has denied responsibility for the delay of the Pan Borneo Highway in Sabah, as claimed by the current state government.

Quoting an audit report from 2019, Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said that it was a federal government decision to terminate the project delivery partner (PDP) contract due to high costs.

“It was the federal government that decided that the best move was to terminate the agreement between the federal government and the PDP. It was not the state government.

“The finance minister then said that the fees of 5.5 per cent out of RM12 billion, which was almost RM700 million, was to be paid to the PDP,” he said.

Advertisement

Shafie, who was Sabah chief minister from May 2018 to September 2020, said that the audit clearly states it was the federal government, led by then prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with DAP’s Lim Guan Eng as finance minister, who had terminated the project.

Earlier, Liawan assemblyman Datuk Ayub Aman said that Sabah’s part of the Pan Borneo Highway was delayed by two years during Shafie’s administration.

Shafie said that he was aware of the importance of the highway to Sabah’s socioeconomic progress and that the state had not cancelled any of the projects.

Advertisement

“The idea was that the 5.5 per cent is a lot to pay them so they cancelled the PDP for Sabah in September 2019 and for Sarawak in 2020. Instead, they gave the project back to the state’s Public Works Department (JKR),” he said, adding that the PDP did not even have its own engineers and were using JKR’s engineers.

“The audit report also said that some of the contractors were not qualified financially and had never built roads before. Why should the contracts be given to such sub-contractors?” he said.

The Senallang assemblyman also said that he had not stopped any of the contractors in 10 packages from continuing to carry out the road construction.

“I never cancelled any contracts. I told them all to go ahead at the expense of the federal government,” he said.

He also brought up that Sabah’s costs for land acquisition was RM1.2 billion, four times as much as Sarawak’s RM33 million.