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No Longer A ‘White Elephant’
Ahmad Zahid (fourth left) , flanked by Abang Johari (right) and Riot and others in a photo-call in front of the Tebedu Immigration Complex, which is expected to undergo upgrading into an ICQS. — Bernama photo
December 30th, 2017 | 09:19 AM | 723 views
Tebedu Inland Port to be reactivated, aimed at facilitating trade and fostering closer ties between Sarawak and West Kalimantan, assures minister
The Tebedu Inland Port, once described as a ‘white elephant’, should become ‘the goose that lays golden eggs’ upon its reactivation by the middle of next year.
In his assurance, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot explains that the move is in line with the proposed upgrading of the present Tebedu Immigration Complex into an Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex, as announced by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi recently.
At present, the cargo shipment between Pontianak Port in West Kalimantan and Kuching Port takes at least 24 hours to reach each other but with the reactivation of the Tebedu port, the journey could be shortened to only five hours.
According to Riot, who is Serian MP, the Tebedu facility would serve as the gateway for transportation of goods between Pontianak and Kuching.
Adding on, he said the plan announced by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during the latter’s visit to Tebedu on Thursday, would augur well for the socio-economic growth of Tebedu, which is in Serian Division, as well as for the whole of Sarawak.
“The ICQS in Tebedu would allow greater trade activities between Sarawak and West Kalimantan – and with the re-activation of Tebedu Inland Port by mid-2018, this would surely bring much benefits to the people of Tebedu, and Sarawak as a whole,” Riot told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He also disclosed that a working paper on the ICQS proposal would be prepared for the National Economic Council (NEC) within 14 days after Ahmad Zahid’s visit to Tebedu, adding that the NEC would serve as the implementing body of the upgrading project, which should reach completion next year.
Elaborating further, Riot said the deputy prime minister had instructed for a special taskforce to be formed and come up with the upgrading proposal within 14 days after Ahmad Zahid’s visit to Tebedu.
“Another 14 days would be required to study the proposal before tabling it before the NEC. Upon approval by the council, it would be tabled in the federal cabinet.
“The project cost and timeline would only be known after the cabinet’s decision. For the record, this is a joint state and federal collaboration,” he said.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, who accompanied the deputy premier during the visit to Tebedu, expressed his thanks to the federal government for seeing the need to develop Tebedu as a key area for trade and also in strengthening the ties between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Both Abang Johari and Ahmad Zahid also highlighted the government’s plan to create a trade zone in Tebedu, slated for the economic benefits of the people living in both sides of Borneo.
On a separate subject, Riot also informed Ahmad Zahid about the urgent need to widen the road at Bukit Paren Binong, which claimed the lives of three people in an accident that occurred on Dec 23.
“On this, the deputy prime minister had asked me to write to the EPU (Economic Planning Unit) under the Prime Minister’s Office,” he said.
courtesy of THE BORNEO POST
by Peter Sibon
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