‘Small place builds big ships’

SIBU: Sibu is a small place but it can become a world class shipbuilding powerhouse.

Chairman of Sibu Shipyards Association (SSA), Ngieng Ping Sing said this at the celebration of SSA’s 40th anniversary, completion of its newly completed premises, and 30th installation of its 2014-2015 executive committee at Kingwood hotel here on Saturday evening.

Sibu’s shipbuilding industry, started in 1930, has brought prosperity and development to Sibu.

Ngieng Ping Sing recalled that from 1967 onwards ships built got bigger until they weighted hundreds of tonnes by 1970. In the 1980s, shipbuilding technology in Sibu started to cater for the international market.

He also recalled that in 2002, the shipping industry, facing pressures and challenges, moved to Rantau Panjang Integrated Shipyard Shipbuilding Industrial Zone, which turned out to be the right move.

“I hope the government will upgrade the infrastructure of the industrial zone and provide incentives,” Ngieng said, adding that Sibu’s shipbuilding industry had created job opportunities.

Earlier organising chairman Ting Ong Hua who is also SSA’s deputy chairman said the country’s longest river, the Rejang, had played a pivotal role in the growth of the shipping industry.

Ting said Sibu’s shipbuilding industry had exported many vessels to the world.

“It still has potential for further growth, but needs more young talented workers.”

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing who is special envoy to the prime minister was guest-of-honour.

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