Tuesday, March 28

Devt lab to leverage on Miri’s economic potential — Lee


Lee (seated, centre) and Abdul Aziz, on his left, join members of the programme’s organising committee and participants in a photo-call taken after the opening ceremony.

MIRI: The ‘Greater Miri Development Master Plan Lab’ is aimed at identifying ways to leverage on this division’s economic potential for the well-being of its people, says Minister of Transport Datuk Lee Kim Shin.

He adds that it is vital to unlock such potential in a systematic manner towards transforming Miri into a more developed and prosperous division.

“This potential covers various sectors including oil and gas (O&G), tourism, agriculture (oil palm plantation), manufacturing, shipbuilding, timber-based industries, education, as well as SMEs (small-medium enterprises).

“This is what you (participants) will be discussing,” said Lee, who is Senadin assemblyman, in his speech for the opening of the two-day ‘Greater Miri Development Master Plan Lab’ at a hotel here yesterday.

Citing the O&G sector as an example, Lee said the enforcement of the Oil Mining Ordinance (OMO) 1958 meant to protect the interests and investments of companies undertaking oil and mining exploration in Sarawak – both onshore and offshore – would continue to place Miri as a key O&G hub in the state.

“Even more so, the recent relocation of Shell headquarters to this division would further revitalise the city as the centre for the O&G sector, including the related supporting industries.”

Moreover, Lee also pointed out many great tourism products that this division had, such as the Mulu and Niah caves, Lambir National Parks, Loagan Bunut, and the Miri-Sibuti Coral Reefs National Park.

In this regard, he stressed on the importance of capitalising on digital technology to “promote and market our products, and also to widen our market coverage”.

On shipbuilding and manufacturing, the minister regarded them as “still being important and relevant, but sustaining them would be very challenging”.

Another significant parameter in regional-planning for Miri, said Lee, was the Highland Development Agency (HDA) established under Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda).

“We must work closely with HDA to avoid unnecessary overlapping of programmes and projects for the same people in the same area.”

Meanwhile, the Miri Development Master Plan Lab continues today with further discussions of topics relating to urban development, social welfare and well-being, housing, digital economy, agriculture, transportation and tourism.

“My expectation of this lab is high – I trust that many brilliant ideas and recommendations would be raised by the participants.

“These proposals and recommendations would be deliberated and then, be submitted to Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg for consideration and approval, especially on matters related to funding,” said Lee.

Acting Miri Resident Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf was also present to witness the opening ceremony yesterday.