The Sabah section of the Pan Borneo Highway is expected to be launched on April 23, nearly seven months after the construction of the Sarawak section kicked off in early October, according to Bernama.

The national news agency quoted Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman as saying that the event will be officiated by prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Jalan Donggongon-Papar. Stretching some 706 km, the project is slated to cost around RM12.8 billion.

“Jalan Donggongon-Papar will be the first phase that will be developed under the Pan Borneo Highway Project and it will be launched by the prime minister,” Musa said, adding that the stages of the highway project’s implementation, along with the identity of the contractor involved in the construction, will also be revealed at the event.

“We have not only been given the opportunity to bring the highway into existence, but our local contractors will also be involved in the construction of the highway. This was the prime minister’s promise and he will fulfil that promise,” he said.

During the previous Sabah parliament sitting, deputy chief minister and Sabah minister of infrastructure development Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said that the 11.7 km Jalan Donggongon-Papar is one of the earlier phases that will be build under the Pan Borneo Highway Sabah project, along with Jalan Tawau-Semporna between kilometre 45 and 47.9 and the 7.1 km Jalan Lahad Datu Bypass.

In total, the Pan Borneo Highway will span 2,239 km from Sabah to Sarawak, has a ceiling budget of RM27 billion and is expected to be completed by 2025.