S’wak to amend Port Ordinance to modernise maritime commerce

Abang Johari (seated centre) at the State’s Development Coordination Committee meeting. 

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MUKAH, Oct 2: The Sarawak government will amend its port law in order to upgrade the state’s port and services, as part of modernisation plans to enhance their efficiency.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said according to the Federal Constitution, port development and services were under the power of the state.

The state government will amend the Port Ordinance as ports are important to the development of Sarawak as a trading entity, he added.

He reiterated that this was the reason why the Infrastructure and Ports Development Ministry was formed in the last state Cabinet reshuffle.

“We are competing with other ports in the region and we have to make our ports more attractive as transit points,” he said in his opening address at the State’s Development Coordination Committee meeting held the RECODA building, here, today.

Abang Johari (seated front, ninth left), flanked by deputy chief ministers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas (left) and Tan Sri Dr James Masing, pose with the committee members.

The ministry and the State Attorney-General will study the law and Sarawak’s needs before coming up with the amendments, he continued.

“Ports are important for trade. We have to upgrade our ports to enable the tracking of movements of vessels in real time, while the turn around time for loading and unloading of containers must be reduced in order for it to be attractive as transiting port,” he said.

On transportation issues, Abang Johari said the Ministry of Transport was formed to look into the transportation needs of the state.

“Although transport is under the purview of the federal government, we must not forget that road traffic management is the responsibility of the state at the local authority level,” he reiterated.

Meanwhile, he said the state capital will be the first to start the smart city programme, particularly surrounding the heritage areas.

The programme, among others, was designed to mitigate street crime with installation of CCTVs that would be linked to a central data system. — DayakDaily