Category Archives: Economy

Safer, cheaper way to move goods

BINTULU: A railway linking Samalaju, Tg Kidurong, Bintulu Aiport and Mukah is in the pipeline and Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) is in the midst of drawing its designs.

This was disclosed by BDA general manager Datu Mohidin Ishak during a contract signing agreement on the proposed 9.5km road linking Mile 32 to the coastal road and the proposed infrastructural works at Samalaju Industrial Park (SIP) between Hock Seng Lee Berhad and BDA yesterday.

He said the rail transport system was essential in enhancing the growth of SIP and for Bintulu to benefit from spin-offs in the development projects in Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE).

Senator Datuk Pau Chiong Ung, who was among those present at the function, believed it
would provide a cheaper cargo transport and ease traffic congestions as there would be less heavy vehicles carrying goods to and from SIP using the roads.

“There is always heavy traffic in our main trunk road with cargo movement from cities and towns and this may cause some safety issues.

“With the railway system, I believe lots of cargo can be transported since the railway will be connecting major ports and cities.

Pau added that he had raised the idea of building a railway in Bintulu in Parliament a few times and pledged to give another push for federal funding for the project before his term expired in December.

“This system is also one of the cheapest ways of transporting cargo as it reduces cost, thus customers will get goods at cheaper prices,” said Pau.

Meanwhile Mohidin said the proposed 9.5km single carriageway road costing RM64.5 million would be an alternative road for heavy vehicles commuting from the SIP and nearby industrial areas to the Tg Kidurong road, currently the only access to SIP.

To be completed by April 23, 2015, the proposed road will link Bakun junction along the Pan Borneo trunk road to the Samalaju gyratory at the coastal road.

“With the construction of this road, BDA can open another area at the Bakun junction for development,” he added.

He said the area, which was already a popular place for hawkers to ply their trade, could be developed into a commercial and residential centre.

The infrastructural works at SIP (Phase 2 stage 4-proposed drainage diversion works) costing is expected to cost RM16.5 million.

According to Mohidin the infrastructural works were expected to be completed within nine months.

Representing the contractor were its managing director Datuk Paul Yu Chee Hoe and site manager Wong Liong Hung.

Also present to witness the contract signing ceremony were Senator Datuk Pau Chiong Ung, Temenggong Barry Yek and Pemanca Dr Francis Toh.



Bintulu Port very customer oriented — MD

Yong (right) presents a memento to Mior

BINTULU: Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd (BPSB) is very customer focused and is always trying its best to fulfil and meet customers’ demands.

In saying this at the handing over of new cranes to BPSB at Bintulu International Container Terminal (BICT) yesterday, Harbour-Link Group Bhd (HLG) managing director Francis Yong Piaw Soon added that being BPSB’s frequent user, the group had been growing together with BPBS since its construction in the 1980s.

HLG is an integrated group providing container shipping, shipping and forwarding as well as integrated logistics services.

Two units of Panamax Class Ship-to-Shore Container Quay Cranes and eight units of Rubber-Tyred Gantry Cranes (RTG) were handed over to BPSB.

Representing BPSB was its chief executive officer Dato Mior Ahmad Baiti Mior Lub Ahmad.

Among those present were Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co Ltd vice-president Huang Qing Feng, Bintulu Port Authority operations assistant general manager Captain Zakhir Khan Yusop, BICT senior manager Ir Abdul Nasser Abdul Wahab and Harbour-Link Logistics Sdn Bhd project manager Kok Giok Huat.

“With these additional port machineries joining the existing fleet, BICT will better serve the community and meet the increasing demand from the development in SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) especially the Samalaju Industrial Estate.

“Indeed, Bintulu Port is playing an important role for the economic and industrial development in our region,” said Yong.

He also thanked Bintulu Port Authority (BPA) for their far-sightedness in making the deep sea port a world standard international port from the beginning until today.

“We hope BPA will continue placing its importance in providing the basic port infrastructure for the benefits of the shipping industry at large,” Yong added.

The ceremony yesterday, he said, also marked a significant milestone in the commitment and achievement of HLG in extending its business activities into port machinery supplies and services.

He added it also created a significant point in further strengthening relationship between HLG and Bintulu Port.

BPSB had entrusted Harbour-Link Logistics Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Harbour-Link Group Berhad in the designing, manufacturing, delivery, testing and commissioning of these port machineries.

“We were given a very tight schedule to get these machineries delivered in two batches.” he said adding it was a big challenge for them.

For this, he thanked their project partner who is the manufacturer of the port machineries Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co Ltd (ZPMC) from Shanghai who had accomplished the enormous task successfully and delivered the machineries to BICT on time.

ZPMC is by far the world’s largest manufacturer of port container cranes.

It occupies about 75 per cent of the world market share in 280 ports in over 80 countries worldwide.

ZPMC has eight huge production bases in Shanghai, Nantong, Jiang Yin and Chan Shin Island which are equipped with innovative state of the art manufacturing technology to cater to all kinds of requirements and needs of their customers.




Get minimum wages info from the horse’s mouth

BINTULU: No one in Malaysia can claim that he or she is an expert on the Minimum Wages Order 2012, said state Labour Department director August Buma.

He opined it was impossible for anyone to be an expert on this legislation as it was enacted only recently.

August said this in response to an enquiry from a participant during a briefing session in Sibu recently.

The participant wondered why explanations given by the department did not sync with those by a consultant he had come across recently.

“I am not discouraging you to join seminars which may be conducted by a consultant engaged by your company for various reasons, but the best advice will come from the Labour Department.

“We are the one who will enforce the Minimum Wages Order 2012, and we are the one that you should come to see to seek further clarifications,” August said during a briefing on the implementation of the Minimum Wages Order 2012 here yesterday.

He advised all employers to be careful when inviting consultants or lawyers to brief them on the policy which will be come into effect in two stages – Jan 1, 2013, and July 1, 2013.

August said among the objectives of the policy were to ensure the basic needs of workers and their families were met, and to ensure sufficient social protection for workers.

“It is also aimed at encouraging the industry to move up the value chain by investing in higher technology and increase productivity by reducing dependence on unskilled foreign labour.”

Minimum Wages, he said, represented the lowest hourly, daily or monthly wage that employers should pay employees or workers.

For Sarawak, Sabah and the Federal Territory of Labuan, the minimum wage is RM800 (monthly rate) and RM3.85 (hourly rate), while for Peninsular Malaysia it is RM900 monthly and RM4.33 hourly.

Minimum wages cover employees whose wages do not exceed RM2,500 a month; manual workers irrespective of their wages; and any other employees as defined under the Labour Ordinance (Sarawak Cap. 76).

It excludes domestic servants, such as cooks, house-servant, butler, child’s nurse, valet, footman, gardener, washerwoman, watchman, groom and driver or cleaner of any vehicle licensed for private use, as well as apprentice.

Also present at the briefing, held at Bintulu Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, were the Chamber’s president Datuk Sia Hiong Ngie, Sarawak Labour Department senior assistant director Dzulzalani Eden and its branch office senior assistant director Tujuh Bochal.