Sarawak Rivers Board goes digital to curb overloading of express boats

Dr Jerip (on the right, holding poster) with SRB controller Richard Tajan (next to him) and staff at the launch of their 25th Anniversary celebration.

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KUCHING, August 29: Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) is in the process of implementing e-ticketing and online payment for express boats to prevent overloading of passengers, especially during festive seasons and school holidays.

“The implementation of e-ticketing can ensure or reduce express boat operators’ previous tradition of overloading their vessels,” Assistant Minister of Transportation Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said at the Sarawak River Board (SRB) 25th anniversary celebration here today.

The move is also in line with the state government’s aspiration to digitalise the state economy.

Meanwhile, he said the state government would upgrade all river transport facilities to create a safer and more user-friendly environment.

“Our rivers play an important role not only for those living in the rural areas but also for the state’s tourism industry. We have rural areas that are only accessible via rivers, and many people take river transport to return to their hometowns.

“They can also be a game changer for the tourism industry if big strides are taken to turn the rivers into tourist attractions. Therefore, we must continue to protect our rivers, upgrade the facilities, preserve, restore and explore the potential for both locals and tourists,” said Dr Jerip.

SRB also plans to set up a council to monitor river safety issues in the state. As suggested by the State Secretary’s Office, Dr Jerip said the council would take care of all safety aspects.

“The council will conduct studies, (investigate) causes of accidents, and even calculate the estimated losses or damages caused by accidents. We are taking river transportation safety matter very seriously. We not only upgrade the facilities but must also make sure all aspects of safety are guaranteed,” he said. — DayakDaily