KUCHING: The Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) had the opportunity to present its views on behalf of the Sarawak business community at a dialogue with the Prime Minister on August 27 in Putrajaya.
SCCI Construction Committee chairman Datuk Alex Ting represented SCCI in presenting several points directly for the attention of the Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Among the points raised was a request for the federal government to expeditiously resolve with the Sarawak state government the longstanding issue of oil and gas royalty payments.
On promoting tourism, SCCI pointed out that as the only way to get into Sarawak is by air, the federal government should consider providing special incentives to airlines to link Sarawak, especially Kuching, to key regional cities. As an example, SCCI suggested that federal allocations for promoting Sarawak may be directed to the purpose of destination-marketing with airlines opening new international routes from Sarawak.
The federal government was also requested to continue to make efforts to resolve outstanding issues with Indonesia that remain obstacles to open trade at the Tebedu inland port at the Sarawak-Kalimantan
SCCI also urged that serious attention be given to the rebuilding of 1,000 dilapidated rural schools, especially as a rebuilding programme as it will be a welcome boost to local building contractors besides alleviating the hardships of poor, rural school pupils.
SCCI also hoped that the Pan-Borneo Highway which it described as a game changer for Sarawak that is still lagging far behind will be completed in a timely manner in order to spur overall economic development in the state.