BDA’s strategic plan will reposition Bintulu into a smart, liveable city


Yakup (right) briefs Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg on the Jepak Jaya development master plan project.

BINTULU Development Authority (BDA) celebrates its 45th anniversary this year with reflections on its Strategic Plan 2024-2030 transformative chapter.

Its general manager Datu Muhamad Yakup Kari said BDA, which serves a dual function as a local authority and a one-stop development agency, is receptive to changes and new directions which will bring forth development and investment opportunities for Bintulu.

Comprising three districts namely Bintulu, Tatau and Sebauh, Bintulu Division has an administrative area of 12,752.12 kilometres square and a total population of 266,200 people.

There are two main industrial hubs in Bintulu – Samalaju Industrial Park (SIP) which is one of the growth nodes under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) for high energy intensive industries; and Petrochemical Industrial Park (PIP) in Tanjung Kidurong which will serve as the main industrial area for the petrochemical industry in Sarawak.

During the Malaysia Urban Forum 2023 programme held in Kuching recently, Yakup said it is important for BDA to be rebranded in order to remain relevant in the era of technological advancements and in addressing pressing environmental concerns.

“Bintulu is poised to be a green industrial hub due to its good geographical location and natural resource abundance,” he said.

“Eighty-five per cent of Sarawak’s total gas reserves, which is about 42.3 trillion standard cubic feet, is situated offshore Bintulu, with the latest being the Rosmari Marjoram Gasfield and Lang Lebah Gasfield.

“With well-developed infrastructures such as Bintulu and Samalaju industrial ports and road connectivity – the Pan Borneo Highway and coastal road – Bintulu has the potential for a sustainable growth path in hydro power energy, biomass power plant, sustainable aviation fuel (algae), green ammonia, green hydrogen, electrical vehicle battery plant and waste to energy.”

This oil and gas town, Yakup added, takes pride in its educational institutions and research centres such as the Universiti Putra Malaysia Bintulu campus which conducts researches and innovations in collaborations between academicians, industries and government agencies.

“In order to remain relevant, we need to reposition Bintulu as a liveable, inclusive and sustainable city. Our mission in this repositioning exercise will be community-focused services and impactful investments.

“BDA’s outlook is to turn the current global challenges, especially on climate change, into opportunities in the creation of low carbon industrial hub,” he said, adding that this has been formulated under BDA Strategic Plan 2024-2030.

BDA’s outlook towards a low-carbon future 

BDA’s role, said Yakup, is to facilitate a green economy which promotes low carbon, resource efficiency and socially inclusive industries.

“With the industries in Bintulu now moving towards sustainable practices, BDA is committed to environmental stewardship, so that others can follow suit. Our industries are already moving towards renewable energy such as sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), ammonia, and algae.

“Bintulu aspires to take lead in the new low-carbon economy based on energy sources that produce low levels of greenhouse gas emissions, and the bio-based economy which involves using renewable biological resources,” he said.

Yakup (standing left, second row) in a group photo with the representatives of the ‘Bandar Paling Mampan 2023’ winners, where BDA is among the award recipients.

In the face of global climate change where economic development is influenced by environmental factors, Yakup said the emergence of ‘green economy’ is an opportunity for growth in employment and income, driven by public and private investments.

According to him, BDA’s Strategic Plan 2024-2030 is in line with the state’s Post Covid-19 Development Strategy (PCDS) 2030, built on three pillars namely Economic Prosperity, Inclusive Society, Environmental Sustainability and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).

Its vision is to transform Bintulu as a model city of inclusivity, liveability and sustainability.

Adding on, he said its mission is primarily to deliver outstanding community-focused services through strategic and impactful investments that bring forth economic prosperity, social inclusivity and environmental sustainability.

“BDA has identified six strategic focuses that form the basis of this strategic plan which are crucial in achieving Bintulu’s long-term goals of economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

“The six-key components primarily focus on strengthening inclusive society; transitioning Bintulu into a smart and liveable city, inclusive of green growth; effective governance; and towards financial resilience.”

The Strategic Plan 2024-2030 and initiatives are achievable through strategic governance and implementation framework; urban and regional planning; inclusive participation and collaboration; green funding; capacity and capability building; and data collection and analysis.

“This is the way forward for Bintulu, thus, it is our commitment to lead and innovate in order for Bintulu to remain at the forefront of economic development while championing sustainability and inclusivity,” said Yakup.