Ba’kelalan rep welcomes consolidation of separate port authorities under central port authority as positive

Baru Bian

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, May 7: Ba’kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian supports the consolidation of the separate port authorities under a central port authority.

Baru believed that it is a positive step in the ports’ management as it will enable the government to streamline the operations, planning and development of ports in Sarawak.

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He said that the consolidation also allows for the implementation of a single vision and uniform policies for the development of ports.

“Crucially, by harmonising port dues, vessel dues, and port charges, users are assured of certainty and uniformity of services and charges at whichever port they utilise,” he said.

Baru highlighted these during the debate in supporting the Sarawak Ports Authority Bill during the Dewan Undangan Sarawak sitting here today.

He also suggested that the composition of members of the Sarawak Port Board should be comprised of representatives from all Sarawakian business and professional sectors or stakeholders.

“They must have the relevant knowledge and expertise to contribute. The appointments must be on merit and should not be politically motivated.

Baru said he made such suggestions as ports are important to rural economic growth so the management of ports in Sarawak must be entrusted to the most able and astute professionals.

He hoped the Bill would seek to legislate for all ports in Sarawak to come under the Sarawak Ports Authority.

He added the provision will allow for the privatisation of port management and operations.

“It also allows to reform the governance structure and regulatory framework of port operations in Sarawak, including harmonising port dues, vessel dues, and port charges.

“The consolidation is timely as the centralisation of the management of the ports and privatisation of the operations at the ports will be more efficient and productivity can be maximised,” he said.

Presently the various Port Authorities namely, Kuching Port Authority (PA), Rajang PA, Miri PA, Samalaju PA, and Tanjung Manis PA, were set up under the Port Authorities Ordinance 1961. Each port authority is a corporate body which controls the port in its respective area. — DayakDaily

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