Sabah-East Kalimantan Road Can Be Alternative Route For Barter Trade Activity

KOTA KINABALU, April 23 (Bernama) -- An alternative road linking Sabah and East Kalimantan in Indonesia can be an alternative route for barter trade activity, replacing the sea, and which has been suspended by the state government on grounds of security.

Sabah Bumiputera Economic Council (MEB) Chairman Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said he understood that the 40-kilometre road, can be built to facilitate the access of Sabah entrepreneurs to the East Kalimantan market.

Also, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, Abdul Rahman said he would bring the matter to the attention of the Cabinet for the proposed construction of the road to be given priority and considered based on the need of the state government.

"Although, we are addressing a security issue, we should not at the same time dismiss the potential of business and trade investments in East Kalimantan.

"Sabah can take advantage of its proximity to the region which has economic potential," he told reporters after chairing the MEB meeting here Friday.

Abdul Rahman was commenting on the state government's action on April 6 in suspending the barter trade or exchange of goods via the sea with Indonesia and the Philippines.

The state government also decided that the concept of the curfew be altered and fully enforced, including taking strong action towards anyone or boat, breaching the order of the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZone).

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman also suggested that Malaysia Airlines Bhd consider the request from entrepreneurs for more regular flights between Sabah and East Kalimantan.

At present, the national carrier through its subsidiary MASwings Sdn Bhd, offers thrice weekly flights between Tawau, Sabah and Tarakan, East Kalimantan.

-- BERNAMA

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