KUCHING (Dec 31): A Port Masterplan Study, starting with the Miri Port Authority, will be carried in 2023, said Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD) said ports have a pivotal role in the attainment of the Post Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030), and must install much-needed modern port facilities to raise efficiency and efficacy.
“We will have a Port Masterplan Study starting with the Miri Port Authority first.
“We hope this June we can come up with some proposals to the government on the way forward for our ports.
“This will make 2023 a daunting and challenging year for all of us at the ministry, the JKR (Public Works Department), the port authorities, and all relevant departments under it,” Uggah said in his New Year message.
He said the ministry’s mission in 2023 is to implement existing infrastructure projects according to schedule, complying with standards, and salvaging all sick projects.
He said the ministry will also strive to complete comprehensive planning of rural roads towards connecting all settlements that are yet to be connected by 2030.
“We will also be having extensive discussions on reviewing the cost of road construction.
“Currently it’s still very high. This involves the study on the use of local materials, including on river gravel, for road construction,” he said.
He added that rehabilitating sick projects will also be a top priority.
He pointed out that in July 2022, there were 91 sick projects.
“The number had been reduced to 35 as of November 2022. I have given JKR until July 2023 to complete tendering all the 35 sick projects,” he said.
For 2023, Uggah said the ministry has a budget of RM795.7 million to carry out new infrastructure projects, riverine ports, public, and government buildings.
He said the ministry needs to utilise the funds fully and transparently so the people, especially those in the interior, will get what they rightly deserve.
“In this respect too, we must avoid the obnoxious sick project occurrence at all costs,” he said.
On another matter, Uggah said Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) will continue its programme to assist Christian, Buddhist, Sikh, Taoist, and Bahai houses of worship.
He said the unit will also continue to assist Mission schools in 2023.
“We must record our appreciation to the Premier of Sarawak (Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg) for his generosity in allocating RM100 million to Unifor.