SARAWAK WANTS BINTULU PORT A PART OF STATE’S PORTS CLUSTER – DOUGLAS UGGAH
KUCHING, Feb 3 (Bernama) – Sarawak’s intention to take over Bintulu Port from the federal government was aimed to make it part of the state’s ports cluster that would be regulated under a central port authority.
Sarawak Deputy Premier and Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said this central port authority would be incorporated under the state law.
“We will have to look at the (Sarawak) Port Authorities Ordinance 1961. We hope to table a bill in the DUN (State Assembly) sitting by the end of the year," he said in a statement issued by his office today.
He said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg in the state Cabinet meeting yesterday had directed his ministry to lead in the discussion with the federal Transport Ministry on the state's intention to take over the port.
“This is no small task. Now we have Samalaju Port there (in Bintulu) too,” he said.
Last Monday, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government will discuss with Putrajaya to take back Bintulu Port as a move to enable the port to be administered and further developed according to the state strategy to make it a transportation hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
Following this announcement, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook on Wednesday said although no official request had been received from the Sarawak government yet, the federal government is ready to discuss the matter.
“Any possibility, anything can be discussed and negotiated. I understand what aspirations the Sarawak government wants. I do not rule out the discussion and we are open (to it) but it will require a lot of processes because Bintulu Port is a federal port,” he added.