NRDA presents compensation cheques for new roads, trailer parking centre

A total of RM3.92 million in compensation cheques were presented to Limbang residents by Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) Chairman Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan at the Limbang Resident’s Office today.

The projects included the upgrade and construction of new roads linking Kampung Pendam to Ipai, new roads linking Bukit Labok to Kampung Seberang Kedai, as well as for the construction of a Trailer Parking Centre in Limbang.

Govt to speed up approval for entry of business travellers, subject to strict conditions

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 30): The government is in the midst of improving the process in order to expedite and smoothen the approval process for business travellers who make short trips to Malaysia for investment purposes. However, they will be subject to strict standard operating procedures (SOPs).

To eliminate red tape and bureaucracy, the government has set up a One-Stop Center (OSC) to facilitate a speedy approval process.

The OSC — a quadripartite initiative by Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), Immigration Department and Ministry of Health — has been operational since October. The center is tasked to assess and approve applications from long-term business travellers (those planning to be in the country for more than two weeks) and short-term travellers (those planning to visit for two weeks or less).

Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood

When contacted, Tan Sri Dr Jemilah Mahmood, the Prime Minister’s Senior Adviser on Public Health, explained that such an initiative is aimed at assuring continued inflow of foreign investments when the country is battling with the pandemic. She stressed that it does not mean there would be arrival of a massive number of foreign visitors to the country.

“It is for business travellers that are here for a short period of time. There will be no 10-day quarantine requirement for these individuals, as this would deter investors from travelling to Malaysia to be quarantined, especially when it is just for a two- to three-day visit,” Jemilah told The Edge.

She said the improvements in the OSC will allow fast-tracking — a green lane of sort — for those that are eligible.

MIDA confirmed that the agency is upgrading its capabilities and is working on digitising the application and approval process, as the applications for short-term business travellers are currently being processed manually by the OSC Committee.

MIDA said the upgraded system will be up and running in January, with details to be announced soon.

Short-term business travellers are defined as visitors who enter and stay in the country for a period of 14 days or less. There are four categories, namely:
1. Potential investors that are interested in doing business in Malaysia.
2. Existing investors such as business owners, board members, executives and associates of companies with operations in Malaysia (without employment pass).
3. Business customers, for product qualification and validation before commercial production.
4. Technical experts for ad hoc emergency cases to serve multi-customers across Malaysia.

Interested parties can apply via the upgraded MyEntry System, which will be launched soon, two weeks before their visit. Individuals’ travelling itinerary is required to be submitted to the OSC Committee for entry approval.

An invitation letter from a sponsor must also be submitted, either from a government body (for example, MITI or MIDA) or the Malaysian registered company sponsoring the business-related trip.

Business travellers will also have to undergo a Covid-19 test 72 hours before arriving in Malaysia and will only be allowed to board if they test negative. The second Covid-19 test will be done at the Business Travellers Centre (BTC) upon arrival at the KLIA.

“Works are currently being done for the BTC at KLIA. We expect it to be operational in January,” MIDA said.

A government-appointed liaison officer will be assigned to accompany each business traveller from the airport throughout the approved itinerary, to ensure strict adherence to the SOPs and to minimise contact with the local community.

The business travellers will also be subject to undergo a third Covid-19 test within three days prior to their departure from Malaysia.

Given the rising number of cases in Malaysia and in other countries, some may raise concerns over allowing foreign visitors into the country. Jemilah, however, said that the numbers expected would pale in comparison to the number of people brought in by tourism.

“That is a valid concern. However, we are only talking at most about 2,000 visitors over one year and these people are duly screened. In other words, we are only allowing very specific people under strict controls and observation,” she said.

Jemilah added that many countries are already adopting similar mechanisms for business travellers and that Malaysia’s initiative “did not come out of the blue”, as the government had studied the models employed by South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Europe.

It is a necessary step to revive Malaysia’s economy amid the pandemic, she added. -Source: The Edge Markets

Awg Tengah: Mintred to develop Tanjung Manis Marine Engineering Park under 12MP

SIBU (Dec 27): The Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development (Mintred) plans to develop Tanjung Manis Marine Engineering Park at Paloh under the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12), said its minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

He pointed out that this is because the location was suitable for bigger vessels.

“Paloh will provide you with better opportunities to become big players in shipbuilding, ship repairs as well as for oil and gas industry,” said Awang Tengah, who is also Deputy Chief Minister.

He was speaking when officiating at Sarawak Association of Maritime Industries (Samin) founding and first committee members installation ceremony here last night, which was also attended by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development, Datu Liaw Soon Eng.

Meanwhile, asked to elaborate a point in his speech earlier, after the function, Awang Tengah, said: “As you know, we try to develop one area in Kuala Paloh for marine engineering park.

“And the proposal by Samin (president Dr Renco Yong) just now is to declare that area once it is completed as a free trade zone area. So, this is a good proposal and of course, now is to ensure the smooth implementation for that project – one of our top priorities for 12th Malaysia Plan to establish the marine engineering park that includes shipbuilding in Paloh.”

Asked on the cost to develop the park, he pointed out that the details including the cost, has yet to be decided.

Meanwhile, Yong estimated that the facility when completed in time to come, can attract a potential investment of RM1.5 billion.

In his speech earlier, Awang Tengah, who is also Second Minister of Urban Development and Resources, revealed that earthworks for Sibu Industrial Park covering an area of 150 acres has commenced.

“This Industrial Park is designed for the general industries to cater for the demand of the local SMEs (small-medium enterprises). There is some delay for this project due to MCO (Movement Control Order) and the bad weather lately. The industrial park is expected to be completed by end of 2023,” he informed.

Adding on, he said MINTRED has completed the Rantau Panjang Phase I upgrading works costing RM11.7 million.

“The Ministry is now undertaking the development of additional 21 acres in Rantau Panjang Phase II. Earthworks is about to commence soon, and we expect to complete the extension works by end of 2022. This extension works is upon the request made by Sibu Shipyards Association,” he said.

The Deputy Chief Minister also mentioned that the maritime industry has made sizeable contribution to the State’s economy.

“Based on statistics, the industry has generated export valued at RM279 million in 2018, RM349 million in 2019 and RM168 million up to October 2020. This is a testament to the high quality and technical capabilities of our local shipbuilders,” he said.

Currently, Malaysia has about 100 shipyards nationwide whereby there are 60 are located in Sarawak, he noted.

“Out of these shipyards, 40 are operating here in Sibu area specialising in building and repairing small to medium sized vessels such as tugboats, offshore support vessels (OSVs), barges, passenger boats, and so on. Sibu certainly has the potential to be the centre for Malaysia’s maritime industry.”

Touching on the formation of Samin, he described as timely to further promote the interests of the maritime industry in Sarawak.

“I understand that Samin is represented by a broad cross-section of the industry, comprising shipbuilding, ship repairs, marine maintenance, engine repair and overhaul, naval architects, maritime consultants and academia, marine product manufacturers, and the supporting industries.

“I hope Samin will continue to play an active role for the advancement of maritime industry in Sarawak,” Awang Tengah said.

Others speaking at the function were Yong, organising chairman Ferdinand Wong Yiung Ying and Samin’s honorary life founding president Ngieng Ping Sing.

Meanwhile, Yong helms Samin for the term 2020 – 2021 and assisted by his deputy Ting Hien Liong.

Ling Tiu Khing and Chieng Yew Wei are vice president (shipbuilding & repair) and vice president (marine related industries) respectively. Secretary is Tay Kho Jim and assisted by Tan Yong Yew, while treasurer is Ngieng Hock Sii and assisted by Jonathan Ling Nai Wee. Choi Man Siaw is in-charge of general affair, while Gerald Chang for welfare and Chieng Yeu Foo for education. – Source: The Borneo Post

RECODA wraps up OACP workshop

RECODA concludes its Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP) workshop after three days of brainstorming action plans to maintain a high-integrity culture.

The strategies outlined will serve as a stepping stone towards a five-year internal plan for continued good governance, said RECODA CEO Datu Ismawi Ismuni in his closing speech today.

Mukah Airport to be operational by second quarter of 2021

MUKAH: The new Mukah Airport is expected to be operational as early as the second quarter next year.

This was disclosed by Tellian assemblyman Yussibnoah Balo who added that the handing over of the project is scheduled for April 11 next year.

“Physically, this airport will be ready according to schedule which is in January 2021 but full operation of the airport would take some time as it involves various parties,” he told reporters during a visit to Mukah New Airport yesterday.

Yussibnoh also said that he was satisfied with the progress of the project.

“I hope the people of Mukah can be patient a little bit while waiting for the new airport to be fully operational next year,” he added.

According to him, the RM360 million airport will be equipped with facilities to handle international travel such as
immigration counters and quarantine section.

Among those present during the visit were Acting Deputy Resident Shafrie Saili, a representative from Ibraco Construction Them Ngee Sin and a representative from the Central Region Public Works Department Nurjannah Mohd Safiee. – Source: The Borneo Post

RECODA holds OACP workshop

RECODA staff deeply engrossed in discussion on maintaining a high integrity culture at the agency’s internal ‘Organisational Anti-Corruption Plan (OACP)’ for the next five years.

The OACP is an anti-corruption internal policy plan that will address potential problems and weaknesses in good governance.

RECODA is the lead agency to implement development projects in the SCORE region, in addition to drawing investors to the state.

“When carrying out our duties and responsibilities, we need to ensure that the cancer of corruption does not have a chance to grow within our organisation,” said RECODA CEO Datu Ismawi Ismuni, who is leading the workshop.