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Sarawak wants Bintulu Port to be part of state’s ports cluster, says deputy premier

Saturday, 04 February 2023 | 01:00

Sarawak’s intention to take over Bintulu Port from the federal government is aimed at making 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 the 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 on Friday (Feb 3).

He said Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg in the state Cabinet meeting on Thursday directed his ministry to lead in the discussion with the federal Ministry of Transport on the state’s intention to take over the port.

“This is no small task. We have Samalaju Port [in Bintulu] too,” he said.

Abang Johari had 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’s 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.
Source: The Edge Markets

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