PM: Red tape involving land journey will be resolved soon

MIRI: Bureaucratic red tape involving land journeys between Malaysia and Brunei will be resolved soon, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the Brunei government had in principle agreed to resolve the issue of bureaucracy along the common border with Malaysia and had set up a technical committee for the purpose.

“The technical committee is looking into facilitating land journeys without the need for passport checks,” he told reporters after launching eight packages of the Pan Borneo Highway for Sarawak, costing a total of RM12.5 billion, here yesterday.

“This matter is being studied and we should be getting a final decision soon,” he added.

Najib said now, Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak and the people of Brunei have to go through eight Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complexes in order to get from Sabah to Sarawak and vice-versa.

He said this resulted in the passports of people who frequently commuted between Sarawak, Sabah and Brunei to be stamped as many as 16 times.

On the construction of the Batang Lupar Bridge, he said the federal government was in discussions with the Sarawak government for the five-kilometre bridge which was expected to be built in 2018 as the cost of construction would have be shared by both governments.

“It is expected to cost RM1 billion, and when completed, will be the longest bridge in South East Asia,” he said.

He added that once the bridge was completed, Sarawak would have two highways which would benefit the people living along the coastline and interior of the state.

Najib also said the bridge would be part of the Sarawak coastal highway which would link the people living in the coastal areas while the Pan Borneo Highway would connect the interior areas. — Bernama