LAW TO BE AMENDED TO MODERNISE PORTS, SERVICES

The Sarawak port law would be amended to upgrade the State’s port and services in order to modernise Sarawak’s ports and enhance their efficiency, Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg.

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

Ports development and services was under the power of the state according to the Federal Constitution and the State Government would amend the Port Ordinance as ports were important to the development of Sarawak as a trading entity, he said.

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

The ministry and the State Attorney-General would study the law and Sarawak’s need before coming up with the amendments, he told senior government officers attending the meeting.

“Ports are important for trade. We have to upgrade our ports for example to enable tracking of movement of vessels in real time.

“Turn around time for loading and unloading of containers must be reduced in order to be attractive as transiting port,” he said.

On transportation, similarly he pointed out that the Ministry of Transport was formed to look into the transportation needs of the State.

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

On the smart city programme, he said it would start in Kuching especially in the heritage area.

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

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