New ‘Sarawak Ports Authority’ Bill expected to be completed by May 2024, to be tabled in next DUN sitting

Uggah presenting his ministerial winding-up speech during DUN on Nov 29, 2023. Photo credit: Sarawak Public Communications Unit

By Ashley Sim

KUCHING, Nov 29: The Ministry for Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) Sarawak and the Sarawak Attorney-General’s Chambers are currently drafting a Bill to establish the new ‘Sarawak Ports Authority’, which is expected to be completed by May 2024 and ready for tabling in the next State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting, according to Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

Uggah, who is also MIPD minister, told the august House that the Sarawak government is currently reviewing the need to consolidate the five port authorities in Sarawak, namely Kuching, Rajang, Miri, Tanjung Manis, and Samalaju, into a single entity.

“This single entity will regulate, streamline, and coordinate the management, operation, planning, and development of all ports in Sarawak.

“The objective is to enhance Sarawak ports’ efficiency in ensuring each of the ports plays its niche role in promoting trade and economic development,” he said when presenting his ministerial winding-up speech during the Second Meeting for the Second Term of the 19th Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) at the DUN complex here today.

Uggah also revealed the Sarawak government, in collaboration with the federal government, deliberated on the mechanism for handing over Bintulu Port to Sarawak at its first Joint Federal-State Working Committee meeting held in Putrajaya on Nov 22, 2023.

“The terms of the handing over are to be deliberated in the Joint Technical Committee meeting scheduled for December 2023.

“The committee will also finalise the joint action plan to facilitate a smooth transition of the handing over,” he added.

Uggah, who is also Bukit Saban assemblyman, highlighted that up to the third quarter of 2023, Sarawak ports registered a total throughput of 15.65 million tonnes, a decrease of 9.7 per cent compared to the 17.33 million tonnes handled over the same period last year.

“The decrease in cargo throughput handled by all Sarawak ports has also been experienced in many ports worldwide.

“My ministry will continue to monitor the ports’ performance closely in order to be well prepared for any future eventualities.” — DayakDaily