The RM569 million log raid was tempting but would require a much more extensive research into it.
Instead, let’s take the road less travelled. In fact, to be exact, the road we have yet to travel. The Pan Borneo Highway.
If one could recall the Budget 2015: full text of the speech given by our Prime Minister; Development expenditure was set at RM50.5 billion. On the topic of infrastructure projects for 2015 ( Measure 8: Accelerating Public and Private Investment).
Notice that the word ‘several’ was used. Well, that means additional projects may be introduced.
Ok. Next. Let’s take a look at the ‘several’ listed out. We have:-
Measure 8: Accelerating Public and Private Investment
51. In 2015, several infrastructure projects will be implemented:
First: Construction of the 59-km Sungai Besi – Ulu Klang Expressway (SUKE) at a total construction cost of RM5.3 billion;
Second: Construction of the 276-km West Coast Expressway from Taiping to Banting at a total construction cost of RM5 billion;
Third: Construction of the 47-km Damansara – Shah Alam Highway (DASH) at a total construction cost of RM4.2 billion;
Fourth: Construction of the 36-km Eastern Klang Valley Expressway (EKVE) at a total construction cost of RM1.6 billion;
Fifth: Upgrading the East Coast railway line along Gemas – Mentakab, Jerantut – Sungai Yu and Gua Musang – Tumpat with an allocation of RM150 million;
Sixth: Construction of the 56-km Second MRT Line from Selayang to Putrajaya at an estimated cost of RM23 billion; and
Seventh: LRT 3 Project, which will link Bandar Utama to Shah Alam and Klang, at an estimated cost of RM9 billion, will be implemented.
This leaves RM2.25 billion for Development Expenditures. Even the leftover was not specifically mentioned to be allocated allocated for the Pan Borneo Highway (PBH). The ones listed above were probably the most prominent. Hence, it’s safer to conclude that there’s no delineated budget allocation for PBH than to say that the leftover is entirely meant for PBH.
Then, here comes Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU). Apparently LBU was established in early 2011 solely for the purpose of the project .
However, the next big mention of PBH emerged during the manifesto first held in 2013 at the 13th GE in May 2013. The project sprouted a little bit there but then went quiet again until April of this year (2015).
So take note of 1) the lack of proper documentation of expenses and budget allocation for PBH, 2) the existence of LBU for over 4 years coupled with manifesto for PBH that emerged much later and 3) the lack of justification of how the RM27 billion is going to come about.
While some might disapprove my analogy of PBH to be another 1MDB seeing that these two are different endeavours, all I want to point out is the possibility for PBH to be a money sink into the abyss.
No documentation. No mention. No trace. Also, take the time to look at the length for the PBH project.
Construction of the Pan Borneo Highway was a project first discussed when Malaysia was formed in 1963.