TUARAN, March 22 ― A new road that will link Sabah’s west coast district of Tuaran to the north and interior regions will bring new opportunities for the villagers to venture into commerce and tourism, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The prime minister said the 60km road running from Telipok through to Kiulu, Pukak, Pahu, Lokos, Toboh and Randagong cost the federal government RM288 million and will offer Sabahans better connectivity, particularly benefiting the state's rural tourism endeavour.
“This new link should make the journey easier and more comfortable. This area has a lot of potential, what with the state government’s focus on rural tourism. The 53,000 tourists it has now should be able to easily increase to 100,000 now with this new infrastructure,” he said.
He said this during his speech in Kiulu after a site visit where he checked on progress of the construction.
According to Tuaran MP Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau, the road will link northern parts of Sabah such as Kudat and Kota Marudu to the interior areas of Tambunan and Keningau without having to pass through major towns.
Tangau said the road was first mooted in the Seventh Malaysia Plan 19 years ago and was only recently pushed through under Najib’s administration.
Najib said the road is currently at 65 per cent completion, which is 20 per cent ahead of schedule. It is expected to be ready by March next year.
Najib, who is on a two-day visit to Sabah, said the road was further demonstration of how his contributions to Sabah have surpassed those of his predecessors, aside from the unprecedented number of Sabahans in his federal Cabinet and more frequent visits here than a former PM who ruled for 22 years.
“We are not a government that makes promises without fulfilling them. We are looking to the future, to thrust Sabah to another level. Right now you are at the cusp of real progress and we can get there if you continue to support BN (Barisan Nasional),” he said.
Najib said he felt good being here because the people of Sabah know how to appreciate the good deeds and contribution of the government and will not forsake it by falling for the Opposition.
“I know the people of Kiulu and Tuaran know not to main buyuk,” he said, using the colloquial term for deception.
The prime minister expressed admiration for Kiulu’s riverside beauty and the area's famous white water rafting.
“I want to make a special offer to the people of Kiulu. If you want me to come back here and try white water rafting, I ask for your help to win the Parliament and the three state seats here. This is my offer to you,” he said.
Najib also promised the people he would approve the building of another 22km road through Tamparuli that ran through some 86 schools that would be implemented in the next term.
“I will also ensure we complete a perimeter survey that is needed to solve land issues and issue titles in the next term. With all these, I believe the people here will have a bright future with the BN government,” he said.