Assoc wants foreign workers’ arrival into S’wak expedited to address labour shortage in shipbuilding industry

Samin members during their AGM 2023 held recently.

KUCHING, March 11: The Sarawak Association of Maritime Industries (Samin) has called on the government to expedite the arrival of foreign workers into the region.

According to its president Dr Renco Yong, this is to address the shortage of workers that the shipbuilding industry is facing.

He said the association has also sought Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg’s assistance in making representations to the federal government on this matter.

“Samin’s registered the concerns of shipyards that they would lose out on the recovery in the marine industries once orders for new ships pick up momentum on the back of growing trade, offshore oil and gas activities with the reopening of economic sectors, due to their inability to accept orders (of constructions of new ships) due to shortage of workers,” he said.

Yong said this in his keynote address during Samin’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2023 held recently.

Meanwhile, he also said that the association has lobbied for extending the tax incentives for the shipbuilding and ship repairing (SBSR) industry, which the federal government has agreed to.

In pointing this out, Yong said the government also announced in the recent re-tabling of Budget 2023 that bona fide tax incentives for shipyards would be extended for five years to Dec 31, 2027.

“In addition, the government granted the SBSR industry to continue to enjoy pioneer status and Investment Tax Allowance (ITA),” said Yong.

He added Samin has also been very vocal in emphasising the importance of the Cabotage Policy to protect the interests of local shipyards and marine industries in general.

“We were also steadfast in calling for the federal government to continue supporting the marine industry, especially shipyards, despite the absence of special allocation for industry players in Budget 2022,” he said. — DayakDaily