Uggah: Sarawak government will assist port users, meeting to be held to address problems faced

Uggah (second right) and Majang (left) being briefed by a Samalaju port officer during their visit on Saturday.

KUCHING, Feb 20: Through the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD), the Sarawak government will find ways and means to address problems faced by port users in the State.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, the MIPD minister, said his ministry and the State Planning Unit (EPU), port authorities, and operators would convene a meeting in Kuching sometime this week on the matter.

“We hope to resolve these problems, which are short-term and management issues,” said Uggah yesterday when visiting the Samalaju port and, later on, joining a meeting with senior representatives of seven big companies operating in the Samalaju industrial zone which use the port as their export exit.

Uggah reassured them it was the State government’s stance to be pro-investors.

“You are all very important to Sarawak. While you provide job opportunities, you are also contributing to and enhancing its economic growth,” he said.

Uggah said the Sarawak government also wants existing investors to help promote Sarawak as an ideal place to invest.

“As such, we will continue to put in place the infrastructure and the ecosystem you need, and will not only provide but will ensure they are available and always efficient to be able to deliver,” he said.

Uggah added that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Datuk Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is also aware of the problems faced and wants them to be resolved as soon as possible.

Uggah (second right) and Majang (right) during a meeting with senior representatives of companies operating in the Samalaju industrial zone.

Meanwhile, at the meeting yesterday, the representatives were given the opportunity to voice their concerns.

The long turnaround time for loading purposes was at the top of the list, resulting in higher costs.

According to the general manager of Pertama Ferroalloys Yuki Nakamura, the turnabout time should ideally be five days, like in Japan.

“Here, we sometimes experience up to 14 days. Therefore, port equipment should be maintained regularly and properly to avoid breakdowns which would inevitably affect port operations,” he said.

He also suggested that the latest technology and equipment be introduced.

MIPD Assistant Minister Datu Majang Renggi, its permanent secretary Datuk Safri Zainuddin, and EPU director Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel were also present. — DayakDaily