Wong (fourth right), Sharifah (centre) and Yussuf (third right) with the award recipients. — Photo by Chimon Upon
KUCHING: The Royal Malaysian Customs Department (Customs) Sarawak is called upon to continue supporting the state government with its various services in line with the government’s quest to transform Sarawak into a digital economy.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the department has done well in the past where they played an active role in promoting and fostering economic prosperity in Sarawak through trustworthy, sincere and dedicated services.
“Customs also plays an important role in collective revenue and providing trade facilitation through enforcement of and compliance with applicable laws to spur economic growth, maintaining national security and public welfare.
“Over the years, they have greatly improved their service delivery system through computation and maintained a professional relationship with the business community and the public. This is something that is very hard to come by,” he said in his text-of-speech read by Second Finance Minister Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh at the Customs Sarawak Appreciation Night held here on Monday.
He pointed out that the state’s economic growth would not have been possible if not for the participation of the economic players, namely the private sector.
“It is worthy to note that the collaboration between the private sector and Customs in Sarawak has always been close and continually fostered with constant dialogues and discussions to thrash out issues that might crop up from time to time.
“Issues of trade or commerce must be resolved quickly to avoid hindering economic activities and thus slow down development,” he remarked.
Abang Johari also noted that the state can no longer develop on a usual pace as it needs to catch up with other states and with the rest of the developed world.
“We will never be on par with others if we do our business as usual. It is now ‘business unusual’ for us in Sarawak as we try to leapfrog from a conventional to a digital economy.
“We want Sarawak’s economy to be driven by digital technologies,” he emphasised.
Around 600 guests attended the glittering ceremony which was also attended by Sarawak Customs director Datin Sharifah Halimah Tuanku Taha, Julau MP Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum, Deputy State Secretary Datu Ismawi Ismuni, State Federal Secretary Dato Mansor Man, and President of Senior Customs Officers Association of Sarawak, Yussuf Drahman.
Among the highlights of the evening are a stand-up comedy performance by the ‘godfather’ of Malaysian stand-up comedy Harith Iskandar as well as the presentation of appreciation awards to 12 companies selected based on certain criteria.
Wong was on hand to present the awards where Association of Malay Importers and Traders of Motor Vehicles Malaysia (Pekema) Sarawak received the award for Highest Import Duty Contributor, while the Best Logistic Hub Award and Highest Tourism Tax Contributor Award went to Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd and Imperial Hotel, Miri respectively.
Nine companies received the award for Highest GST Contributors: Bytechnologies Sdn Bhd for the IT sector; Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (construction sector); Golden Palm Harvest Sdn Bhd (plantation sector); Murun Hydro Power Generation Sdn Bhd (engineering construction sector); Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (agriculture sector); Miri City Council (city hall sector); Harbour-Link Marin Services Sdn Bhd (shipping sector); Dayang Enterprise Sdn Bhd (engineering services sector); and Syarikat Sesco Berhad (utilities sector).