Sarawak plays key role in nation’s maritime sector with 59 of 100 shipyards located in State

Lee (seated second right) together with (from left) Captain Mohammad Halim, Henry and Buckland in a photo with programme participants. Photo credit: Ukas

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KUCHING, April 21: Sarawak is a strong and significant player in the nation’s shipping, ship building and ship repair industry with 59 out of 100 shipyards currently in operation across Malaysia being located in Sarawak.

In Sarawak, five shipyards are located in Kuching, 40 in Sibu, 12 in Miri while Bintulu and Limbang have one facility respectively.

In comparison to other States in Malaysia, Sarawak Transport Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin pointed out that Sarawak is a maritime State in Malaysia which contributed immensely to the State’s economic development and growth.

“As such, it is important for Sarawak at the State-level to be prepared to implement and strategise the administration and demonstrate compliance with the mandatory IMO (International Maritime Organisation) instruments under the scheme specifically on the six IMO Conventions.

“Malaysia as a state member of this treaty will be audited some time in June 2023 on effectiveness if its administration and implementation of the mandatory IMO instruments covered by the scheme,” he said in a statement today.

Lee highlighted this at the opening ceremony of the Awareness Programme on International Maritime Organsation (IMO) Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) for Sarawak held at Baitul Makmur Building, Petra Jaya here today.

The IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) is intended to provide an audited Member State with a comprehensive and objective assessment of how effectively it administers and implements the mandatory IMO instruments.

The instruments included in the scheme cover, among others, safety of life at sea (The 1974 Safety of Life at Sea Convention and its 1988 Protocol); prevention of pollution from ships (the Marpol Convention); standards of training, certification and watchkeeping for seafarers (STCW 1978); load lines (LL 66 and its 1988 Protocol); tonnage measurement of ships (Tonnage 1969); and prevention of collisions at sea (COLREG 1972).

“The role lies with everyone in ensuring compliance with international maritime standards including the responsibility to develop technical safety, security and pollution prevention standards related to maritime transport.

“The governments have the duty to implement and enforce these standards, while the recognised orgnisations have a duty to be impartial and exercise due diligence.

“The shipping companies are responsible for applying the same standards to individual ships and the shipboard personnel play the task of putting into operation the various safety and anti-pollution measures applicable to the ship,” he elaborated.

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) Sarawak, Lee continued has been proactively engaging and getting feedback from the relevant stakeholders both from the government agencies and private sector to be updated on the new development of maritime-related matters which is pertinent to Sarawak.

Since MOT Sarawak was established, he said a continuous effort has been taken to resolve some of the pertinent issues related to the shipping sector in Sarawak including lifting of Cabotage Policy in Sarawak, exemption for single hull tanker to operate in rivers of Sarawak, seafarers sign-in and sign-off protocol during Covid-19 pandemic and so on.

“The MOT Sarawak will continue to play our role to ensure the shipping sector in Sarawak is well administered and continues to progress.

“Today’s event will become a stepping stone for all of us to better understand the subject matter. I hope for a positive discussion and mutual understanding among us so that the Federal government agenda will be materialised by conforming with the obligation as State Member which rectified the International Conventions,” he added.

Federal Deputy Transport Minister Dato Henry Sum Agong, Secretary of Maritime of Ministry of Transport (MOT) Malaysia Captain Mohamad Halim Ahmed, MOT Sarawak permanent secretary Datu Buckland Bangit and IMSAS head Bianus Muyou were among those present. — DayakDaily