KUALA LUMPUR: The government has assured that the welfare of the project delivery partner (PDP) staff involved in the Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak, will be protected as specified under the Employment Act 1955.
Minister of Works Baru Bian said though the Federal Government had officially issued a termination letter to Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU) on Sept 20, the 786.41-kilometre highway project across Sarawak would continue.
“The termination involve savings of RM1.25 billion and this is in line with the government’s efforts in cost optimization of projects. However we will protect the welfare of workers,” he said when winding up debate on the Supply Bill 2020 at the committee level for the mInistry in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
A total of 32 members of Parliament participated in the three-hour debate session.
It was reported that the PDP contract to carry out works on the Pan Borneo Highway project in Sabah worth RM29 billion, was terminated in September, but reasons for the termination was not clarified.
The implementation of the Pan Borneo Highway project is currently taken over by the Ministry of Works (KKR) and the Sabah and Sarawak Works Departments, utilising available technical expertise.
Launched in March 2015, the multibillion-ringgit project is considered to be the largest infrastructure development project undertaken by the Federal Government in Sarawak in 54 years. The freeway will be the main link between Sabah and Sarawak.
On measures to curb severe congestion at the Gombak Toll Plaza during festive seasons, Baru said he was informed that the concessionaire had opened all 12 lanes, increased the number staff, closed the reload lanes and provided travel timetable schedule to highway users.
“However, the government does not intend to abolish toll collection due to high management costs,” he said.
Baru added that the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) project would provide a solution to the problem of congestion on the east coast highways. – Bernama