Lee: Taskforce formed to look into classification of ships in Sarawak


Lee said the task force will be headed by the director of the Marine Department Sarawak Region.

KUCHING (March 20): The Sarawak Ministry of Transport has formed a task force to look into the classification of ships in Sarawak following the recent requirement under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (Solas).

Its minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin said the task force will be headed by the director of Marine Department Sarawak Region, with members from the Ministry of Transport, Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB), Ships Classification Malaysia (SCM), Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association (SSSA) and Sarawak Association of Maritime Industries (Samin).

“Under Solas, which is a requirement of the International Maritime Organisation, we have to look into the classification of ships, especially here in Sarawak, including ships of 500 gross tonnes (GT) and above where they need to be classified,” he told a press conference after chairing a briefing on ships survey and proposal to Sarawak by SCM here today.

Solas is an international maritime treaty that sets minimum safety standards in the construction, equipment and operation of ships.

Lee said all stakeholders such as the SSSA have been tasked to come up with a proposal on the classification of ships and the survey required within a months’ time.

“The task force will study the proposal and work out the details before we submit to the Marine Department on this subject matter,” he said, adding that another meeting is expected to be held in May.

He said the briefing today marked the first meeting between his ministry and stakeholders.

“The objective of this briefing is to find solutions on how to resolve the issues of ship registration and survey for vessels above 500GT plying in Sarawak waters.

“This is crucial to facilitate the transportation of essential items such as medicine, food products and other daily necessities even during difficult times such as the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

He said the briefing gathered information on the rules, regulations and standard operating procedures of the ship registration and survey for vessels above 500GT and the proposal by SCM to overcome the issues faced by shipping industry players pertaining to the ships survey for vessels plying in Sarawak waters.

Also present were Ministry of Transport permanent secretary Dato Alice Jawan Empaling and SCM managing director Dato Abdul Jamil Murshid.