The state government is carrying out a ‘twin town’ development project at Sindumin to replace the previously proposed Bandar Sahabat Sindumin-Merapok located at the Sabah-Sarawak border.
Proposed jointly in 1981 by the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak, the integrated development was intended to provide common services and facilities between the two states.
However both state governments have since moved on to have their own respective plans, confirmed Local Government and Housing Minister at the recent State Legislative Assembly sitting.
“It is understood that the Sarawak State Government has drawn out a new plan and have relocated the Merapok ‘New Service Centre’ development 3 kilometres away from the Sabah-Sarawak border,” revealed Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor, the Minister in a response to a question posed by Sindumin Assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Bujang on Bandar Sahabat’s current development.
Hajiji further disclosed that the state through LPPB (Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority) is using a plan, acquired from the Federal Department of Town and Country Planning Peninsular Malaysia, to develop 160 acres of land for Sindumin. According to him, the development plan consists of facilities such as shop houses, tamu market site and a government complex.
In 2012, as part of its first phase of socio-economic plan, SEDCO’s subsidiary company Perkasa Realty Sdn Bhd has already completed construction of six units of one-storey shops there. In the second phase of this plan, 12 units of two-storey shops are awaiting approval for financial provision under the 10th Malaysia Plan, said Hajiji.
In addition, he added that LPPB has also devised a plan to build 40 units of two-storey shop houses in the same township. The Minister expects that construction work will commence two years after the development plan has been approved.
Klias Assemblyman Datuk Lajim Ukin told the Dewan that the large number of illegal immigrants in the area was the prime reason why the Sarawak government backed out of the joint development proposed earlier.
“I do not think that is the reason behind the government of Sarawak’s decision,” responded Hajiji to Lajim’s statement. “There may be other reasons such as consideration of more suitable economic activities that prompted their decision,” he said. – Insight Sabah