MUKAH, Oct 2 — The state government will amend the Port Authorities Ordinance 1961 to upgrade and improve the efficiency of the state’s port and services, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari said today.
He said ports are important to the development of the state as a trading entity.
“We are competing with other ports in the region and we have to make our ports more attractive as transit ports,” he said at the State Development Coordination Committee meeting here.
“The Ministry of Infrastructures and Ports Development and the State Attorney-General would study the law and Sarawak’s needs before coming up with the amendments,” he said.
“Ports are important for trade. We have to upgrade our ports, for example, to enable tracking of movement of vessels in real time.
“Turnaround time for loading and unloading of containers must be reduced in order to be attractive as transiting port,” he said.
The chief minister said ports and harbours are under the purview of the state as spelled out by the Federal Constitution.
He said it is for this reason that he created the Ministry of Infrastructures and Ports Development in a recent State Cabinet reshuffle.
The ministry is headed by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing.
The chief minister also said he created the Ministry of Transport to look into the transportation needs of the State.
“Although transport is under the purview of the federal government, we must not forget that road traffic management is 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.
He added the programme, among others, was designed to mitigate street crime with installation of CCTVs that would be linked to a central data system.