Uggah’s Ministry to lead talks with Putrajaya on S’wak intention to take back Bintulu Port

Uggah (centre) flanked by Doreen on his left together with other distinguished guests including Majang (fourth left) tossing the Yee Sang to mark the Chinese New Year at the gathering on Feb 2, 2023.

KUCHING, Feb 3: The Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) has been tasked to lead discussions with the Federal Ministry of Transport (MOT) in Putrajaya over Sarawak’s intention to take back Bintulu Port.

MIPD Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg gave the directive during the monthly State Cabinet meeting yesterday (Feb 2).

“Abang Johari had said he only wanted one port in Bintulu. This is no small task. Now, we also have the Samalaju Port there too.

“We will have to look at the Port Authorities Ordinance 1961 as we hope to table a bill in the DUN (Sarawak State Legislative Assembly) sitting by the end of the year,” the Deputy Premier highlighted during the Ministry’s Chinese New Year 2023 gathering at a local hotel here last night.

Bintulu Port is currently under the Federal government’s jurisdiction and an agency under the Ministry of Transport (MOT).

Federal Minister of Transport Anthony Loke had also given assurance that the Federal government was ready to discuss with the Sarawak government regarding the matter, which would need to go through various legal processes.

Earlier this week, Abang Johari expressed Sarawak’s intention to take back Bintulu Port from the Federal government so that it can be developed in line with the strategies drawn up for all ports in Sarawak.

He wanted Bintulu Port to be part of the cluster of State ports under a Central Port Authority, which will be incorporated by State law.

With that, Uggah added that another big task for the Ministry is to come up with the Sarawak Port Masterplan.

“The study is aimed at improving and enhancing the efficiency of port services, Port security through the installation of Vessel Traffic Management System (VTMS), Aids to Navigation (AtoN) facility, crane, dredging works and exploring new business opportunities,” he said.

The government had meanwhile allocated a sum of RM4 million for the study, starting with the Miri Port Authority.

Uggah’s wife, Datin Amar Doreen Mayang, Deputy Minister of Port Development Dato Majang Renggi and Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Development Aidel Lariwoo, Betong MP Dr Richard Rapu, MIPD permanent secretary Chiew Chee Yaw, and Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak director Ir. Richard Tajan were among those present at the function. — DayakDaily