Sarawak should pursue duty-free status, says PRS deputy info chief

PRS deputy information chief Andy Lawrance

KUCHING, April 25: Sarawak should pursue duty-free region status following its success in taking over Bintulu Port while the establishment of its own airline is underway.

Suggesting this, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) deputy information chief Andy Lawrence said it is a tangible opportunity given Sarawak’s unique advantages, political stability, and the evolving geopolitical landscape.

“Timed strategically alongside Indonesia’s administrative transition, Sarawak stands poised to capitalise on its proximity as a neighbouring State. By adopting duty-free status, Sarawak can bolster its economy significantly,” he said in a statement today.


Andy proposed leveraging Kapit District, particularly Kapit town, as a gateway to Indonesia’s new capital, Nusantara, in Kalimantan.

“It could serve as a catalyst, triggering a multiplier effect that revitalises the development of the mid-Rejang region, which has lagged behind other parts of Sarawak,” he added.

Emphasising Sarawak’s diversified economy, which extended beyond the traditional oil and gas sector, Lawrence highlighted that the State had emerged as a key player in tourism, renewable energy, and various industries within the Bintulu’s Samalaju Industrial Park.

“Duty-free status will amplify trade and business prospects, attracting both tourists and enterprises seeking tax-free transactions and investment opportunities. This influx will stimulate trade, foster business partnerships, and invigorate the financial sector,” he explained.

Andy envisioned that adopting duty-free status would not only spur tourism and retail sales but also generate increased government revenue through business establishment, licensing fees, and enhanced property valuation.

Futhermore, he said such a status could combat smuggling and act as a deterrent to smuggling activities by providing legal and competitive avenues for consumers.

“This will provide the Sarawak government with additional resources to invest in infrastructure, education, and healthcare,” he added. — DayakDaily