Lee (centre) with (from left) Hazman, Baharin, Henry and Buckland during the opening of a dialogue between SSSA, Marine Department of Malaysia and MOTS today.

MIRI (Jan 20): The Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) has proposed to take over the registration of boats for 15 tonnes and below from the Marine Department.

According to its minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin, the registration will be administered by Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB).

“Thus, this requires the designated officers to be qualified surveyors with a specific skill and knowledge to carry out this duty. Therefore, for the readiness and smooth administration of this new scope of work, the officers must be well trained and competent to carry out their duty.

“In preparation for this, my officer has initiated communication with the Marine Transport Training Institute (Matrain) in Port Klang to assist us by providing the necessary training to our officers,” he said.

He was speaking at a dialogue between Sabah and Sarawak Shipowners’ Association (SSSA), Marine Department of Malaysia and MOTS today.

Also present at the dialogue were Assistant Minister of Transport I Datuk Dr Jerip Susil, Assistant Minister of Transport II Dato Henry Harry Jinep, Marine Department Malaysia director-general Dato’ Baharin Abd Hamid, Deputy Director (Planning) Dato Hazman Hussein, MOTS permanent secretary Datu Buckland Bangik Sarawak Marine Director Marzuki Ibrahim

In view of this, Lee said he has urged Dato’ Baharin to consider the exemption of the training fees for the ministry’s officers to attend the required courses provided by Matrain.

On another development, Lee said since the formation of the MOTS, continuous efforts had been taken to resolve some of the pertinent issues pertaining to the shipping sector in Sarawak.

“These issues were addressed, and decisions have been conveyed for the attention of higher authorities.

“For example, exemption for single hull tankers to operate in rivers in Sarawak, seafarers sign-on and sign-off SOP (standard operating procedures) during Covid-19 pandemic for Sarawak and so on.

“I am assuring that the Ministry of Transport Sarawak will continue to play its role to ensure that our shipping sector is well administered and continues to progress,” he said.

He added that MOTS has been proactively engaging and getting feedback from the relevant stakeholders, both from the government and the private sectors, to identify issues faced by the local shipping community in the state.

Touching on the dialogue session held, Lee said there were various issues that needed to be addressed, and he hoped that through this dialogue, the issues raised will be solved accordingly.

“With the presence of YB Dato’ Baharin Abd Hamid, I hope that a positive consideration and mutually agreed decision will be made to resolve the issues raised.

“A decision has to be made today for the benefit of all parties. I hope all participants will actively participate through this dialogue to deliberate and discuss on the issues raised,” said Lee.