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Build Tunnel Link to Tambunan and Interior

Kota Kinabalu: “It may be a bit late but the PM cum Finance Minister should make an effort to include in Budget 2015, a tunnel link to Tambunan and the Interior and the Sabah Chief Minister and JKR Sabah should make a concerted effort to plan and secure the necessary funds for the project” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief in commenting on latest landslide at Upper Moyog, Penampang, that disrupted and brought traffic to a standstill after heavy rains.

The landslide, the fourth this year, is a costly affair to businesses and caused many problems to Sabah motorists especially in terms of time lost and extra fuel costs in using alternative routes. Money is also spent on the landslide and road repairs.

The tunnel link would not only reduce travel time between Kota Kinabalu and Tambunan by half and facilitate travel to the Interior, it will provide an impetus to development of the Interior region.

It is understood that JKR had done some preliminary studies on the tunnel link. The Sabah government should work on the proposal and seek the federal funds to finance and implement its construction.

The tunnel link can only bring about many advantages and benefits. Its estimated RM2 billion costs will also create a positive impact on the Sabah economy especially on the construction, building materials and related industries and services with multiplier effect further downstream.

The MPs for Penampang and Keningau, opposition and BN respectively, can lobby their respective coalitions to support the tunnel link proposal. The former as Sabah Minister of Infrastructure can also add his support for his Chief Minister to lobby the Prime Minister for the allocations. 

What is an additional RM2 billion for Sabah if the federal government had spent tens of billion as presented by the federal Minister from Kota Belud recently and having paid RM1.53 billion in compensation to highway toll operators in the Peninsula to prevent a toll hike?

With the federal Umno BN coalition needing the support of Sabah to remain in power, and the Pakatan Rakyat also canvassing support from Sabah to be the next government, the project allocation is waiting to be approved if seriously asked by the Sabah Chief Minister.

If the project is not approved, it can only mean one thing for Sabahans, “Sabahans being treated as second-class Malaysians by the federal government”.

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