KUCHING, May 15 — The Sarawak state government said today it is planning to develop a new international airport in Kuching to support the growing aviation industry in Sarawak.

Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Openg told the legislative assembly that with the takeover of MASwings from Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), Sarawak is poised to become another aviation regional hub for the Asean countries.

“With our comprehensive enhancements of intermodal transportation and logistics network, Sarawak is poised to become a pivotal regional hub for connectivity within the Asean region.

“This is in line with the Asean Vision 2040, which aims to create a deeply integrated and highly cohesive Asean economy,” he said in his winding-up speech here.

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He said the airports and marine ports are vital drivers of regional development and global economic integration.

He added that given Sarawak’s strategic location in Borneo and its role in global supply chains, especially in the energy sector, consolidating the state’s port activities under the Sarawak Port Authority is a strategic and timely initiative.

He said the state must equip its ports with state-of-the-art infrastructure, including deep-water access and advanced cargo-handling capabilities.

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“Our ports will offer seamless intermodal connections and comply with the highest international standards for environmental, safety, and security practices,” he said.

He added the transition to greener and smarter port operations is gaining momentum across Asean, with investments increasingly directed towards reducing environmental impacts and enhancing automation.

“We are committed to promoting clean and green shipping practices that adhere to global standards,” he said, adding that the state is set to produce green fuel for shipping, establish itself as the regional hub for green fuel bunkering, and implement a common utility corridor.

“This integrated, streamlined approach will boost operational efficiency and align with Sarawak’s vision for advanced, environmentally conscious port facilities.

“For this reason, we are currently undertaking an engineering study for the development of a deep-sea port in Tanjung Embang, not only to propel Sarawak as a regional trading hub, but also as the energy hub for the southern region,” he said.