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Yong : Labuan and bridge inevitable

Kota Kinabalu, Thursday, 6 June 2024

The comprehensive proposal by ex-Chief Minister, Tan Sri Harris Salleh, to build the proposed Labuan bridge on a Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis using land swap deserves the urgent attention of the Sabah Government because the Labuan bridge is a huge economic catalyst to the Labuan island and Sabah economy.

The idea that the land swap involves reclaimed land is an ingenious way to create wealth in order to build critical infrastructure.

Labuan bridge a State matter

At this stage of planning of the Labuan bridge, no consultation with the Federal government is needed yet because the Federal leadership has shown no interest and no sincerity in building the bridge. Hence, Labuan bridge will become a State project with the view that the return of Labuan to Sabah is inevitable and only a matter of time. The Sabah Government should diligently position itself to take back Labuan. I have already proposed to GRS leaders that a “Technical Committee on The Return of Labuan” be set up to plan the eventual return of Labuan.

After the return of Labuan and the completion of the bridge, say by 2028, there would be no need for cumbersome immigration control at the Labuan/Sabah border, hence facilitating land connectivity.

The Labuan airport, which is of international standard, can supplement Sabah’s aviation connectivity, especially in Southern Sabah, Northern Sarawak and Brunei. The bridge will become a major important driver to economic growth in this region.

Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee
Ex-Chief Minister