LABUAN: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof emphasises the importance of adopting different methods and approaches to bring the long-anticipated Labuan bridge to fruition.
Addressing the need for a comprehensive study to assess the bridge’s viability, and its potential trickle-down impact on Labuan’s economy, he highlighted the necessity of developing the entire island.
“I have engaged in discussions with Labuan Member of Parliament, Datuk Dr Suhaili Abdul Rahman, and we are committed to exploring alternative methods to ensure the realisation of this bridge,“ he said, at the meet-the-people session today.
To ensure the materialisation of the bridge, Fadillah proposed opening up a new town in Labuan, aiming not only to increase the population but also to stimulate economic activities and attract investments.
“With an increased population and economic activities, we anticipate heightened interest from investors willing to contribute to the construction of the bridge,” he said.
Fadillah said that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Federal Territories), Dr Zaliha Mustafa, also engaged in a discussion with him regarding the aspirations of the people in Labuan for the bridge to materialise.
“During our conversations, I conveyed to her this matter deliberated in the Cabinet, and I am aware that the Prime Minister has already issued a statement concerning the proposed bridge,” he said.
Fadillah, who is also the Energy Transition and Public Utilities Minister, acknowledged previous efforts, including the issuance of Requests for Proposals (RFP), but none of the proposals fully complied with the requirements of the relevant ministries, leading to Cabinet disapproval.
Meanwhile, he said that Labuan has garnered special attention from the federal government, due to unresolved issues affecting its residents, as discussed in a recent Cabinet meeting following the Prime Minister’s visit to Labuan in December.
“My responsibility is to find solutions to unresolved issues related to power and water supply…today’s working visit to Labuan is to gather briefings from Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and Labuan Water Supply Division.
He said that his ministry proposes to place Labuan as an area under its purview, signalling increased attention and frequent visits by his ministry’s officials.
He also acknowledged the necessity for substantial improvements in Labuan’s basic infrastructure, emphasising the government’s commitment to addressing these issues. – Bernama