KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state government wants the Federal Government to reverse its decision to suspend the RM600mil Customs, Immigration, Quarantine and Security complex (CIQS) project in Kalabakan that borders Indonesia’s Kalimantan.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said that the CIQS project that included staff quarters was a priority project as it was aimed at spurring economic activities in east coast Sabah.
He said that the recent announcement by Works Minister Datuk Fadillah Yusof to suspend the project due to lack of funding came as a surprise to the state.
“I am shocked with the decision to suspend the CIQS project. It failed to take into consideration the needs of the state,” he said in a statement Monday (March 28).
He said the excuse for the suspension due to lack of funds was “unacceptable.”
In a written reply in Parliament last week, Fadillah had said that the CIQS would be delayed as the Finance Ministry did not provide funds for it.
Bung said that the CIQS complex needed to be put in place, as it was in line with the decision by Indonesia to move its capital Jakarta to Kalimantan by 2024.
Bung said that Sabah is economically far behind Peninsular Malaysia, despite Sabah providing significantly towards the nation’s coffers.
Bung said that this important project for the state should not be victimised for the lack of funds, as even the costlier RM20bil Mass Rapid Transit 2 (MRT2) project was almost completed in the peninsula.
“The Kalabakan project is as significant as the MRT project in terms of benefits for the people. Sabah will be left behind,” he added.