Transport minister proposes master plan to harness Miri’s economic potential

Lee addressing the SUPP Miri-Sibuti Chinese New Year Celebration at a hotel in Miri.

By Karen Bong

MIRI, Jan 30: Dredging to deepen Baram River mouth, road linkages to the interior such as Baram and Bario, pushing for agriculture and tourism were among the top priorities to enable economic growth and ensure Miri would thrive.

As such, Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin urged the state government to consider the request for a Greater Miri Integrated Master Plan 2030 to be drawn up.

“Miri has a great potential for economic growth with its diversified economy which include oil and gas, ship building, tourism, agriculture, timber related industries, oil palm, service industry, etc.

“In order to harness the various economic resources in Miri Division, there is a need for better road, air, sea and ICT infrastructures,” he told the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) Miri-Sibuti Chinese New Year Celebration held at a hotel here last night (Jan 29).

Lee cited the need to dredge the Baram River mouth to deepen it to 8 metres was necessary to provide access for bigger ships into Miri Port.

“It is also essential to have road linkages to the interior, namely Baram and Bario to open up more agriculture activities and tourism attractions,” he added.

Lee, who is also SUPP vice president and Senadin assemblyman, also pointed out that his ministry was currently working on smart public transport, intelligent traffic lights system and urban traffic management and safety which were important components of a smart city.

“We are looking at using mobile apps to track schedule of public buses and garbage trucks.

“We are working with Sains to develop a mobile app to track garbage trucks on refuse collection and disposal. Sains IT personnel will give priority to the development,” he revealed.

As a newly established ministry, Lee said that its major tasks involved carrying out studies, collecting and analysing data to work out Sarawak’s transportation and urban traffic management systems as a component of Sarawak’s development plan towards 2030 in achieving developed status.

“But with the guidance and support of our Chief Minister, my Ministry will do our very best to work on efficient, reliable, safe, affordable and modern public transportation in Sarawak,” he added. —DayakDaily