S’wak deputy minister sees Bintulu Port-Nusantara railway as beneficial from tourism standpoint

Snowdan speaking to reporters after the soft launch of the SAGO incubation programme at the Grounds Premium Coworking Space by The Hills in Kuching on March 25, 2024.

By Marlynda Meraw

KUCHING, March 25: Establishing a rail link between Bintulu Port and Indonesia’s new capital, Nusantara, is beneficial from a tourism standpoint, says Deputy Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry, and Performing Arts Sarawak Datuk Snowdan Lawan.

However, he said that a mutual agreement must first exist between Malaysia and Indonesia, considering that the railway will traverse international borders and facilitate travel between the two nations.

“There must be proper planning between Malaysia and Indonesia because it involves the two countries. There must be a two-way, mutual agreement to build it.

“We can make suggestions, but if they (Indonesia) don’t agree, then there is no point to it,” Snowdan said when approached by reporters following the soft launching of the Sarawak Gastronomy (SAGO) incubator programme at The Hills today.

Snowdan, who is also treasurer of Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Sarawak (TEGAS), fully supports the idea should the rail link between Bintulu Port and Nusantara come to fruition.

According to him, the existence of the rail link provides various opportunities for tourism that could simultaneously promote Sarawak and Kalimantan.

However, he also mentioned the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and related it to the State’s protective stance concerning its borders and the stringent security measures that are put in place.

“Regardless, we (Sarawakians) need to be careful, as Sarawak has been so protective in safeguarding our rights enshrined in the MA63. People cannot simply come in,” he said.

On March 24, Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Dr Sim Kui Hian said that the Sarawak government is studying the potential of linking Bintulu Port to Indonesia’s capital, Nusantara, via railway. — DayakDaily