Bintulu Port: Masing’s query should not be constituting “recklessness”

Datuk Snowdan Lawan

KUCHING, Sept 5: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) youth chief Datuk Snowdan Lawan holds that a preliminary research on Sarawak rights over the Bintulu Port should not be constituting “recklessness”.

The Balai Ringin lawmaker was questioning the “knee-jerk” reaction of PKR Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How.

“All that (Minister of Infrastructure and Ports Development) Tan Sri Dr James Masing did was making a surface quest, an initial search, enquiring about a Federal property, the Bintulu Port that is sited on Sarawak soil in Bintulu.


“Why was See felt offended and knee-jerk scared on the deputy chief minister’s statement pursuing the rights?” Snowdan said in a statement.

Snowdan, who is also Youth and Sports Assistant Minister, pointed out that following a recent minor cabinet, Masing has been tasked with a new portfolio of looking after ports in Sarawak.

“Who else actually is in the best position if not the minister himself to delve into this matter?” continued Snowdan, while adding that it would be the failure on Masing’s part to serve the people if the latter did not bring up the matter.

“See himself would certainly not bring this to the surface because by doing so, (he) will not serve his master in Malaya best, for that’s where his heart is, Sarawak’s secondary,” he opined.

Snowdan said though the port was established in 1981, it is still within the ambit of the Sarawak government’s jurisdiction to revisit and where necessary, review how the annexation, lease of state land or the establishment of the port took place in relation to Sarawak’s constitutional rights.

“In the event that it (the taking over of the Bintulu Port by the federal government) was constitutionally and legally right, then it (the matter) would be status quo and all discussions could halt.

“Nevertheless, the feedback would be relevant for the state’s authority to delve further into the case, to see if a prima facie case could be established,” he said.

Snowdan was responding to See’s statement yesterday, which stated that Masing had failed to understand how the port was established under the Bintulu Port Act 1981.

See was quoted saying that the port was established following the passing of the Bintulu Port Act 1981 and the area which the port is seated has been declared as a federal port in the Parliament.

See, in turn, was responding to Masing who had revealed that his ministry has been studying Sarawak’s rights over the Bintulu Port, though is here in Sarawak, is owned by the federal government.

Masing’s main contention in the matter was that despite the port being built under the Federal Constitution, there are also laws passed in Parliament which state that some laws can only be effective after the endorsement of Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN). — DayakDaily