Abang Johari: Bintulu on right track to become economic hub

Posted on : 19 Jan 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari greets the staff of a supermarket during a walkabout to several business premises after the grand opening ceremony.

BINTULU: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg believes that Bintulu is on the right track to become an economic hub and the engine of growth for Sarawak based on three sectors namely industries, tourism and agriculture.

He said with the heavy industrial activities, coupled with the existing amenities, Bintulu will grow faster than other towns in Sarawak.

“Bintulu will not be static, we are going to build a very iconic Kemena Jepak bridge at the mouth of Kemena river, tender is in the process, and I have instructed JKR (Public Works Department) to start construction of the bridge by the middle of this year (sic),” said Abang Johari when officiating at the grand opening of tHe Spring Shopping Mall Bintulu yesterday.

He said the development of Jepak will make it another Petra Jaya, with direct access  to the coastal highway and the airport and enhances the potential of the Jepak area as a new business district.

Abang Johari added the administrative centre of Bintulu will be relocated to Jepak and some areas will be allocated for the development of housing estates.

He said the lifestyle of Bintulu has changed and expanded in terms of city development which is at par with any other development in Malaysia.

“Bintulu is well-structured, because of that you have a very good environment in Bintulu. Congestion will be less, public transport very convenient and development plan here is very conducive for the expansion of businesses.

“The other factor that will push Bintulu ahead is the availability of resources especially energy from Bakun hydro dam, which has propelled industrial development in Bintulu,” he said.

He recalled that he had met with a group from South Korea who would be investing USD100 million in Bintulu for its petrochemical project which will provide almost 1,000 jobs and 30 per cent will be engineers.

This positive development, he said will create a middle class group in Bintulu. Hence it was timely for the private sector to inject more money to create a conducive environment in terms of providing basic amenities.

“I’m sure investors will come to Bintulu, the Koreans telling me they cannot do it in Korea because of higher tariff on energy.

“We are not only giving cheap energy but we also want them to employ Sarawakians and train them and with the synergy between the investors and the comparative advantage that we have our economic development will be on track,” said Abang Johari.

On top of that the chief minister said the construction of the methanol plant in Kidurong will start in the middle of this year with the collaboration of Petronas.

“It is majority owned by Sarawakians, it is a Sarawak petrochemical company, that is the first start for us to participate actively in downstream of oil and gas (sic),” he added.

Abang Johari said Sarawak managed to find ways to raise fund from its resources and in the last budget, he had tabled the biggest budget of over RM10 billion where nine over billion ringgit are meant for development.

He said the additional revenue will be collected from its five per cent sales tax on petroleum and gas-based products for export.

He said with all development plans on track, Sarawak will become an economic powerhouse in Malaysia by 2030.

In the meantime, Abang Johari congratulated Parkcity The Spring (Bintulu) Sdn Bhd and Sarawak Land (Kemena Park) Sdn Bhd (SLKP) and Benlong Sdn Bhd for the successful opening of the  tHe Spring Bintulu Shopping Mall.