Another tidbit shared by prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during the tabling of the Malaysian Budget 2016 (Bajet 2016) is the progress regarding the construction of the toll-free Pan Borneo Highway, which began in September this year.

Firstly, the entire Sarawak section of the highway, stretching 1,090 km from Tanjung Datu in the west to Merapok up north, will be completed by 2021 (two years earlier than previously mooted) at an estimated cost of RM16.1 billion. The latter is some RM1.1 billion higher than the previously reported ceiling budget.

On the Sabah side, construction of the first phase connecting Sindumin to Tawau – a distance of 706 km – will commence next year, with the cost for this section expected to reach RM12.8 billion. As yet, there’s no proposed completion date nor a total estimated cost for the stretch in the northern Borneo state.

Altogether, the entire project will reportedly span a total distance of 2,239 km have a ceiling budget of around RM27 billion, although the federal government is still working to finalise the cost and design of the highway.