Use Sim Kheng Hong Port as temporary measure to resolve congestion problem, manufacturers tell KPA

Joseph Lau

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KUCHING, May 6: Sarawak Manufacturers’ Association (SMA) is urging the Kuching Port Authority (KPA) to utilise Sim Kheng Hong port as a temporary measure to resolve the container congestion problem at Senari Port due to a computer system outage on March 27.

Its president Joseph Lau said KPA should benchmark itself against international ports by upgrading the port system software and facilities as soon as possible with help from the Sarawak government.

Otherwise, he said, Sarawak’s young entrepreneurs will eventually become discouraged from establishing start-ups in the State if this issue cannot be resolved in time.

With surcharges now imposed on exporters and importers, he noted the adverse effects on manufacturers especially in the Kuching region where for example, food manufacturers would have to bear the extra charges of USD200 per container of aluminum cans.

“The cost of canned food will keep rising, however, as Sarawak manufacturers, we cannot transfer costs to the end users as we need to compete with national and international brands.

“Sarawak manufacturers need to maintain the competitive advantage with quality and value-worthy products.

“All these unnecessary costs only increase burdens on Sarawakian entrepreneurs and discourage young entrepreneurs to have their start-ups in Sarawak,” he said in a statement today.

Adding on, Lau said Sarawak as a whole would, in the long-term, lose its competitive advantage and young entrepreneurs while the rate of unemployment will increase and cause the downsizing of the manufacturing industry.

Thus, he strongly urged the Sarawak government to look into the needs of the manufacturing industry and help Sarawakian entrepreneurs. — DayakDaily