Sultan Hashim and PPP

I have always called the The National Development Plan for 2007-2012 the 9th NDP until I was told recently that it is not. It should be called NDP 2007-2012 which I thought was a bit of a mouthful. Anyway, the ambitious projects in the plan would be financed by the government. But other funding alternatives will also be developed including the PPP modality. Perhaps PPP can build that bridge to Bangar if someone can afford to pay the tolls.

PPP is a relative new word as a source of government funding. Even though it has been bandied out only in the last decade or so, its concept has been appreciated a long long time ago even in Brunei Darussalam. I was thinking of PPP when I read about Sultan Hashim Jalilul Alam Aqamaddin who ruled Brunei from 1885 to 1906. In 1895, one J Robertson persuaded Sultan Hashim that he can print stamps for the government as well as run the postal service for Brunei in return of which he gets to sell the Brunei stamps outside Brunei and keep all its proceeds.

At the end of the 19th century, Brunei was certainly in a dire strait. The Sultan too has lost his main income especially when Limbang was forcibly taken away in 1890. The Sultan knew that he had no choice if he wanted to run services in the country including a postal service, even though the deal was decried as unorthodox and the 1895 stamps in some quarters were not acceptable and labelled as 'bogus.' But the Sultan used the then concept of PPP by having someone else print the stamps and then run the post office at no cost to him. In fact he managed to keep all the local proceeds as well. What could be more PPP than that?

Similarly, the Sultan also agreed to coins being minted by a private corporation of which he gets to keep half of the approximately 1 million coins being minted in Birmingham. At no cost to him or the government, the Sultan was able to have a postal service as well as a modern currency. Whether it was intentional or otherwise, PPP was certainly the norm for Brunei more than 110 years ago.


I'm sorry to butt in again but I'm quite astonished that a bridge from B/M to Temburong would cost $1billion. Is that really true? What is the route? Any other alternative? Tunnel? Or a few bridges connecting from land to island etc? Have we done the survey? Sorry..for asking these stupid Questions.

I was just asking my husband, and he said there could be some possibilities/alternative routes and he was also quite surprised that it would cost that much. Macam kalah jambatan pulau pinang hehe.
For your info, my husband is quite well-versed in this area. Currently he is doing his Charterdship in Architecture thats RIBA part 3. And No he is NOT working in the public sector. Hey I'm not marketing him (he doesnt know I'm writing this haha) I am just wondering maybe your ministry needs some local experts (and NO he is NOT intending to work with the public sector as he has his own practice to run).
If for whatever reason u need some local ideas, seriously give me a shout. I'm sure he'll be happy to help our country (Please NO this is not an attempt to get govt projects thro the back door - in case someone is having that idea).
I sincerely want to help our country. Kalau bukan anak bangsa sendiri, siapa tah lagi?Right?

Wahaha Sorry I'm NOW being persistent. But I just force my hubby to look at Google Earth.
And this is what he's suggesting:

Why NOT build 3 small bridges which obviously cover less length but would still get u from B/M to Temburong. The route:

From Menunggol (or watever the name) the route to Kg Bolkiah build a bridge to that 1 pulau = 1.28KM
From 1 pulau to another pulau (sorry dont know the names but surely those 2 belong to Brunei)=0.85KM
From that second pulau to Temburong=6.45 KM
Plus/Minus Surely wont be 25 KM!
Now if u measure from edge of Temburong direct to Mentiri, thats about 12KM
So OK maybe we have to look at the soil condition/ deep of water etc etc. But 25KM?

The jambatan Pulau Pinang is 24KM costing $RM3Billion.. and it's a high tech bridge. Do we need one like this?
Surely by building a few jambatans will be more beneficial economically, No?
rogue, don't you ever sleep? posting at 3 and 4 in the morning! I am now forced to issue a caveat before the polls :).

Anyway, quick answer, the costing is an old costing, probably with today's new technology etc, you are right, it might be cheaper and shorter but as you say Penang's second bridge is in the region of RM3+ so there is a benchmark. 25 km includes everything the approaches to the bridge, the ends of the bridge, the new roads to Bangar etc. And yes, it goes from pulau to pulau but not necessarily the same pulau or the same design that you are thinking about - something about soil studies, depth as you pointed out but also politics etc, that's why it's longer. It has to be tall as there are ships and boats etc that goes to Limbang and the surrounding Sarawak areas. A very cheap solution would just be to build a causeway but the geopolitical issue comes in.

The true cost is we won't know unless there is an in depth study being commissioned and even then there might be controversy as to what design or path it will take. In the meantime, everyone can come up with their designs and thinking. So, happy designing to your hubby and happy thinking to you!
rogue, i forgot to mention that in the current NDP 2007-2012 publication page 194, there is an item which will interest you and all Temburongians which read "907/48 Roads - Study on the Contruction of Roads and Bridges Linking Brunei-Muara and Temburong District". we'll get the cost soon.
My time is only 10.30pm now, in England. I usually sleep around 2am though (thinking and working on this phd thesis which incidently is about Brunei hahaha).
My (well our) offer still stands. If u need any local professional help, just maybe to talk or get ideas, the hubby finishes Insya Allah some time next year. So hopefully he'll be the third/fourth? local Bruneian to have Charteredship.
Anonymous said…
It'd b interesting to see the bridge being built using d public-private partnership concept. Say B$1.00 each time u cross d bridge? *hehe*
NDP after NDP, and Brunei is yet to have the Temburong bridge. It all now comes down to the question, now or never. Rogue's proposal is quite interesting, not only will it ease the Bengkurong/Sinarubai peak hours traffic but it will also bring joy to Temburongans ( and those people who brave the morning traffic in Jangsak n Telanai obviously)
Anonymous said…
The answer would be never.
Looking at the economies of building such long distance bridge and the geopolitical situation, it does not justify building such bridge. I am not saying Temburong (and the people of Temburong) is not important, but just use logic. It's just not feasible. And private-partnership? No, I dont think that will work either. I seriously do not think building a bridge all the way from Bandar to Temburong is a workable solution.
Anonymous said…
I was quite pleased to read that the topic of a bridge linking BM to Temburong has surfaced again. Judging from the comments and the poll it seems that currently there are more people in favour of it rather than against it.
It was surprising to read the reaction from rogue economist regarding the rough cost of the bridge in comparison with the Penang bridge. I would've thought she would be more supportive on the cost from an economist point of view rather than looking for a cheaper option (like so many projects in Brunei going for the cheapest bidder) for which a project would be beneficially to the people of Brunei as a whole. The shortest distance between 2 places is a straight line so assuming that the distance quoted by BR is the shortest distance, keeping in mind the political and geographical issues.
The project could a great PPP/PFI project as people will have to pay for using the bridge as a way of generating revenue and a return on any investment of the project. Hopefully, the bridge is a project in the near future and writing a thesis on it would a wonderful reference for the past, present and future generation.
Peace be upon you
G-`FerRo said…
1.Let us look it at a global view.

2.It may cost BND1 Billion, more or less, and it seems only to cater for the 10,000 residents.

3.But actually, it will benefits more than that.

4.Out of the 10,000 residents, many of them have families scattered all over the other districts of Brunei, and looking at Brunei very large extended families, say 1 resident have another 10 families, that will add up to 100,000 people easily.

5.If one ask around, they are people even in their retirement age never ever been to Temburong, due to the accessibilty.

6.By building a bridge from BSB to Temburong, many economic spill-off can be expected.

7.The bridge itself can be a landmark for Brunei, hence putting Brunei into the world map.

8.There are load of example of countries having their bridges as their landmark, despite their outrageous cost, and even some controversies.

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge - 8.5 miles - USD33mil in 1937

Oresund Bridge - connects Sweden & Denmark, the bridge even goes underwater! - 25,000 feet - $3.8Billion!

Gateshead Millennium Bridge, UK - 44Million

Le Viaduc de Millau, taller than Eiffel Tower - length 8,071ft.

Hangzhou Bay Bridge, Zhejiang - 22.4 miles, cost $1.4 Billion

Then there are also...

Erasmusbrug, Rotterdam

Tower Bridge, London

Just to name a few...

.. and yet .. now there is a plan to build bridge from Macao to Hong Kong via Zhuhai, with perhaps an addition of a man made island.

9.So with the bridge built, time can be saved, and easier access in case of any emergency.

10. Looking at these factors, obviously the bridge will have to be tolled, especially to cover the maintenance and such.

11. A single trip to Temburong cost BND6/pax!

12. People wouldn't mind paying BND10 per car for the toll if the bridge is to be built.

13. Too many to say, but this comment space is too limited, so I'll just leave it till here for the time being.

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