Help make Labuan bridge a reality, Yong tells Sabah government

Former chief minister Yong Teck Lee says a bridge linking Labuan Island and mainland Sabah will boost the economies of both territories. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah chief minister Yong Teck Lee has urged the Warisan-led state government to help seal the proposed construction of the Labuan bridge after the federal government voiced its keenness to explore the proposal.

Yong said Labuan and Sabah residents are happy with the remarks of new Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa, who expressed support for the bridge project during a visit to the island last week.

“The proposed Labuan bridge is long overdue. In view of the current economic downturn, the construction of the bridge will stimulate the economies on both Labuan Island and mainland Sabah.

“I call on the Labuan MP and the Sabah government to continue to press for the early approval of the bridge,” Yong said in a statement here today.

He said a major advantage of the bridge will be its linkage to the Labuan international airport, which is under-utilised.

“This airport, which is of international standard, can service mainland Sabah and the northern districts of Sarawak such as Lawas.

“Not only would Labuan residents benefit from easier, safer and faster access to the mainland, Sabah residents and foreign tourists can also travel to Labuan to enjoy the many under-visited public facilities such as the Labuan Botanical Garden, Bird Park, War Cemetery and Marine Museum,” he said.

Yong said the construction cost of the bridge could be recovered by increased economic production and additional revenue from taxes.

Annuar had said the long-standing proposal to build the bridge from Labuan to mainland Sabah should be given serious attention because of its potential economic benefits to the island.

He had a lengthy discussion with relevant stakeholders after visiting the proposed site during his recent trip to Labuan.

“But let’s not talk big about the whole thing and later on be unable to deliver. Nevertheless, we accept the fact that the bridge’s construction is something that should be given serious attention,” he said.

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