Saturday, 22nd March, 2003


  Daily Express 
  Study to build bridge linking Sabah and Labuan  
  LABUAN:  Labuan Corporation (LC) will study a private sector proposal to build a bridge linking the island and Sabah mainland.

Its Chief Executive, Datuk Mohamad Noor Moktar, Said although the project is at the proposal stage, LC welcomes the suggestion and hoped it would materialise. Besides enabling Sabahans to travel to Labuan by land, he said the bridge would also facilitate tourists, from Sarawak and Brunei to visit the island.

"Lot of local food products and construction materials that we need to import come from Sabah. So. the bridge will not only facilitate land transport but help to reduce transportation costs. At present building construction in Labuan is 30 percent higher compared to Sabah."

Mohamd Noor said this after briefing Yang di-Peruan Agong Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Tuanku Syed Outra Jamalullail about Labuan Federal Territory's development at the Wisma Labuan Corporation, here Friday.

The King is on a three-day visit to Labuan. " The proposal to build the bridge comes from the private sector and not from the Government. We only received a short proposal and we will study it in detail.

"This is because if the private sector builds the bridge, there will be toll charges and we want to know for how long is the concession period - is it 20 or 50 years?" he said.

Asked about the claims by certain quarters that tourists to Labuan had reduced, Mohamad Noor said it is not true. " They are always afraid to make such allegations. If we say their business is good, they may be afraid of being taxed. He said the number of tourists to Labuan increased by 8.4 percent last year to 600,509 visitors compared to 554,026 in 2001.

Regarding new tourist products to be promoted in Labuan, Mohamad Noor said it involve an 18-hole golf course, beautifying the landscape especially around town areas and the Labuan International Sea Sports Complex.