Malaysiakini NEWS

PAS asks for Putrajaya's help after abandoning crowd-funded highway

N Faizal Ghazali  |  Published:  |  Modified:

The PAS-led Kelantan government has requested for Putrajaya to restart the "Lebuhraya Rakyat" (people's highway) project which the state government had previously tried to build with the help of public donations but later scrapped the plan.

Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali, who is on a two-day visit to Kelantan, said a formal request had been made to the federal government.

"We were informed today that the Kelantan government had submitted an official request to the federal government to take over the Lebuhraya Rakyat project which was previously shelved by the state government.

"This was due to the company, which received the contract, being unable to continue with the construction of the 10km highway which would have cost RM200 million," he told a press conference in Kota Bharu today.

Earlier, Azmin had chaired the Kelantan Action Council meeting.

In 2017, the state government announced that the Lebuhraya Rakyat trust fund had collected a total of RM3.2 million over a period of five years to help fund the highway.

However, the highway project, which was supposed to be completed in March 2018, was terminated in a mutual agreement between Jabatan Kedua Sdn Bhd and the state government.

Azmin said he will ask the Works Department to look at the Kelantan government's request, stating that the highway was an important link for the Central Spine Road.

"We don't want a disconnect as the Lebuhraya Rakyat sits in the middle of the Central Spine Road. It would be unreasonable for us to complete the Central Spine Road without considering the Lebuhraya Rakyat which was abandoned by the Kelantan government," he said.

Azmin added that the PAS-led Kelantan government should also be open to development initiatives by the Pakatan Harapan-led federal government.

"Our wish is to set aside political ideologies and for the state and federal government to develop the state together in the interest of the people of Kelantan," he said.

The Lebuhraya Rakyat is meant to connect Kota Bharu with Kuala Krai while the Central Spine Road connects Kuala Krai to Kuala Pilah.

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