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FMM Sabah Representative Office

To Push Sepanggar Port as Transshipment Hub

Published on: Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (Daily Express)

Kota Kinabalu: The State Government hopes to convincePutrajaya to expand the Sepanggar Port, here, into a transshipment hub for theAsean region so as to boost industry and investment.

Deputy Chief Minister cum IndustrialDevelopment Minister Datuk Raymond Tan said the move will woo more investors toSabah, not only in shipment of goods but also in transshipment, thanks toSabah's strategic location.

It will also see the Kota Kinabalu IndustrialPark (KKIP), which is just next to the main port, expanded to support itsexpansion.

"Sabah is so well-positioned because thestate is right at the centre of the Asean group of countries. We have access,in less than three to six hours, to more than 11 countries in the region.

"Our position is so excellent. So we areproposing to Putrajaya that Sabah is the right place to start a transshiphub," he told reporters after a walkabout conducted by Minister in thePrime Minister's Department, Datuk Mah Siew Keong, here. Transshipment is theshipment of goods or containers to an intermediate destination, then to yetanother destination.

Tan said a better and bigger port will furtherboost production of industries and build new ones.

"Investors look at such facility beforethey commit. This is very, very basic," said Tan, suggesting firms couldacquire premises at KKIP to set up storage under the transshipment process.

Tan said it would cost around RM300 million toboost amenities at KKIP and at least RM1 billion to RM2 billion for the portexpansion, depending on the size.

"We could build the concept but theconstruction could be carried out in phases. The government would not be ableto spend so much money in a short time. The planning is important and could becarried out in five year spans based on the 11th Malaysia Plan," he said.

Meanwhile, Tan said DAP Likas Assemblyman,Junz Wong, can find all the facts concerning the industrial development ofSabah through Sabahtoday.com.my.

He said the website had notched nearly 500,000hits showing that people are interested and do read about Sabah's industrialdevelopment.

In this respect, he suggested that Wong dosome reading "even if he did not want to listen to the answers (by Tan) inthe State Assembly."

Tan said all the answers read out by him inthe State Assembly had been documented and can be easily accessed.

On the continuous query about the survey doneby Sabah Industry Quarterly (SIQ) stating that workers in the State capitalneed to earn at least RM2,500 monthly or end up broke, he said there was asimilar survey done by Pakatan Rakyat's think-tank last year.

He said the survey by Institut Rakyat hadshown that Sabahans were earning an average of RM2,800 per month.

"That is why DAP said the people in Sabahare poor. So what are they complaining about (SIQ)?" he asked.

"The salary in Sabah is low. We cannothide the fact," he said, adding that the government in this respect wasaddressing the matter through the National Economic Transformation programme.

Quoting the Prime Minister in his recent Chinese New Year message on the need to address this imbalance (employers earning more but workers getting paid low), Tan said "this is what the government is doing."Top ofFormBottom of Form

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