Baru’s ministry to give special focus to 5 states

Baru Bian, the new works minister. (File pic)

PETALING JAYA: Newly minted Works Minister Baru Bian has promised that his ministry will cater to the needs of all communities in the country, but will give special attention to five states.

He told FMT that Sabah, Sarawak, Perlis, Kelantan and Terengganu were in serious need of improved public infrastructure.

“In terms of infrastructure, Sabah and Sarawak are left far behind,” he said, adding that the other three states were also short of much needed facilities.

Baru said he was scheduled to be briefed by ministry officials on all ongoing and planned projects.

He said there was a need to assess the feasibility of the projects and to see whether they were necessary.

Referring to projects that were already underway, he said they would be considered individually and the ministry would determine if they needed to be improved and whether the contracts for them were awarded properly.

In reviewing them, he added, the government would have to be mindful of legal implications.

“Some packages, I understand, were previously awarded directly under the Prime Minister’s Department and the finance ministry,” he said.

Baru hinted at the possibility of maintaining projects that he said were keenly anticipated by the public. These might include the 1,089km Pan Borneo Highway.

Yesterday, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister James Masing voiced hope that Baru would ensure the continuance of road and bridge projects promised for the state by the previous government.

Masing said in a press interview that he was seeking assurance from Baru that the RM16 billion Pan Borneo Highway would be completed on time. It is slated to be built in 2021.

Baru was among 13 new ministers sworn in yesterday to join 13 others who began their duties last month.

He thanked Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for showing confidence in him.

Baru Bian to be works minister, says report

Pan Borneo Highway project likely to continue, says Shafie