Maritime industry contributes RM168 million to state’s economy Jan-Oct ’20

Awang Tengah presenting an appointment letter to Datuk Lau Nai Ho, as an honourable advisor of SAMIN.

SIBU, Dec 27: The maritime industry has made sizeable contribution to the state’s economy with export valued at RM279 million in 2018, RM349 million in 2019 and RM168 million up to October 2020.

International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development  Minister Datuk Amar  Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said as the industry will continue to play an important role in the economic development of the state, especially Sibu, his ministry would continue to provide the necessary support so that it can continue to grow.

Speaking at the installation ceremony of Sarawak Association of Maritime Industries (SAMIN) last night, Awang Tengah said with the completion of the Rantau Panjang Phase I upgrading works costing RM11.7 million, his ministry is now undertaking the development of additional 21 acres in Rantau Panjang Phase II.

“Earthworks is about to commence soon, and we expect to complete the extension works by end of 2022.  This extension works is upon the request made by Sibu Shipyards Association,” he said.

“My ministry also plans to develop Tanjung Manis Marine Engineering Park at Paloh covering an area of 1,000 acres under RMK-12, as the location is suitable for bigger vessels,” he said, adding that Paloh would provide better opportunities to become big players in shipbuilding, ship repairs as well as for oil and gas industry.

Meanwhile, earthworks for Sibu Industrial Park covering an area of 150 acres has commenced. This industrial park is designed for the general industries to cater for the demand of the local small and medium entreprises (SMEs).

Awang Tengah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said there was some delay for this project due to the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the prevalent bad weather. However the park is expected to be completed by end of 2023.

He noted that currently there are about 100 shipyards nationwide with 60 being located in Sarawak. Out of these shipyards, 40 are operating in Sibu area specialising in building and repairing small to medium sized vessels such as tugboats, offshore support vessels (OSVs), barges and passenger boats.

Sibu certainly has the potential to be the centre for Malaysia’s maritime industry, he noted.

Meanwhile he wanted SAMIN, which was formed on Oct 25, 2018, to work closely with his ministry to come out with some proposals on global movement restrictions as a result of Covid-19 pandemic for the consideration of the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to address.

SAMIN, with a membership of 90, is represented by a broad cross-section of the industry, comprising shipbuilding, ship repairs, marine maintenance, engine repair and overhaul, naval architects; maritime consultants and academia; marine product manufacturers and the supporting industries.

Separately, he said the state remains as an attractive investment destination as it continues to attract investment interests such as from South Korea and Australia, apart from China despite the movement restrictions and economic slowdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.

“For the first nine months of this year, Sarawak ranked first in terms of investment value in Malaysia in the manufacturing sector, with a total approved investment of RM15.8 billion.

“In fact, with the help of my ministry and Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), a group of executives from South Korean came to Sarawak recently and willingly undergone the mandatory 14-day quarantine before conducting their assessment in Sarawak,” he added.

Meanwhile SAMIN new president Dr Renco Yong outlined three future plans, that included publishing a “Book of Sarawak 2020 for Shipbuilding, Ship repairs, Maritime Industries, Ship design”. — DayakDaily