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Potholes appear in coastal road plan

The premier's plan to build a new coastal road estimated to cost
RM1 billion has been panned by both pro-BN and opposition leaders.
KOTA KINABALU: The government’s plan to develop Sabah is beginning to take on the frantic air of a circus coming to town as the general election looms.
With more Sabahans questioning the snail-paced development of the state in contrast to the rest of the country, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak pledged to “look into” almost any state BN-representative’s proposal.
And one such proposal was to build a spanking new coastal road estimated to cost around RM1 billion to link Tuaran, Kota Marudu and Kudat to the state capital.
The extravagance of the project surprised many given that even the most basic road repair efforts in the state were lacking and many years behind delivery.
Both pro-government former chief minister Harris Salleh and the opposition’s Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) led by another former chief minister Yong Teck Lee agreed that the project bordered on the ridiculous.
Yong’s SAPP described is as yet another political gimmick to fish for votes, besides enriching the BN cronies.
There is no justification for such a project, the party’s information officer Chong Pit Fah said, adding that the proposed project was a terrible joke as the government had not even been able to upkeep roads that had already been built.
He said the Ulu Kukut road linking the three districts and Kota Belud was a prime example.
Repair work for the 5km stretch of the Ulu Kukut road estimated to cost RM70 million was awarded and commenced two years ago but had yet to be completed.
The poor condition of this stretch of road was highlighted by those travelling to Kota Marudu everyday but no explanation had been given for the slow pace of repair work.
“How shameful is the government of the day… they can’t even complete the 5km road in time,” Chong said, adding that it would be a waste of taxpayers’ money to construct a new bypass in an area that already had roads linking Tuaran, Kota Marudu and Kudat.

Another Janji Tidak Ditepati

Najib announced here last weekend that the government would look into building the coastal road connecting the state capital to the poorly developed northern regions of the state.
SAPP however said that the coastal road would just be another “Janji Tidak Ditepati”, a play on Najib’s “Janji Ditepati” (promises fulfilled) slogan.
The proposal to build such a road was submitted by Tanjong Kapor state assemblyman Teo Chee Kang when the prime minister visited the Kudat District on Sunday as part of his pre-election tour.
Speaking at an event at the Kudat Sports Complex later, Najib agreed that the coastal road must be built to spur economic growth along its route and help boost the economy of the local people in the three areas.
However, former chief minister Harris Salleh was among those who questioned the need for such a road.
In a statement published by local newspaper Daily Express yesterday, Harris said that from an economic perspective “it is better to use the billions of ringgit to upgrade the existing roads and make a dual-carriageway (of the current road) between Tuaran and Kudat rather than spend (it) on the construction of a new coastal road.”
The current road linking the three districts was just a few kilometres from the coast and would make one or the other redundant.

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