(From eight left) Sebastian, Masni and Lee with the academy’s staff, graduates and guests.
MIRI: Assistant Minister for Land and Air Transportation and Safety Datuk Lee Kim Shin opened Pelita Maslaut Miri Maritime Academy new building yesterday.
The academy located at Lot 1515- 1516 Lutong Commercial Centre (next to Klinik Harmoni Lutong) is one of its branches apart from Sibu and Kota Kinabalu.
Lee in his speech applauded local company Pelita Maslaut for setting up the academy.
“I’m proud to see the establishment of the academy for the past 16 years, and the launch of its new office today reflects the growth of this academy.
Courses offered at the academy are recognised by the Marine Department and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which ensures the training meets the required standard.
“The academy supplies competitive labour force to be absorbed in the shipping industry,” he said.
Its students get jobs locally or abroad when they graduate.
“I encourage those interested to take the opportunity to join this industry as demand for labour in the maritime and shipping industry is still high despite the current economic situation.
Lee revealed that the government has granted almost 12 acres of land at Kuala Baram for the academy’s campus which is still in the planning stage.
At the event, 31 trainees were honoured on its 15th convocation ceremony for completing Marine Rating course (Pre- Sea).
The trainees consisted of 12 Maritime Apprentice–Deck and 19 trainees from the Maritime Apprentice-Engine programme.
Best students for the Maritime Apprentice–Deck were Landreas Carles, 28, from Limbang and Mohd Fadzilie Roslan, 19, from Lawas.
Best students for Maritime Apprentice- Engine were Douglas Innthing Bryne Bato and Rawing Anang Karun, both from Kapit.
Earlier in his speech, Pelita Maslaut Maritime Academy managing director Masni Amit said they started with a small offi ce in Piasau.
“We just moved here in March this year and I’m thankful we have gone this far.
We thank our families, staff, students and those involved directly or indirectly in our establishment.
“A new campus is sign that we work harde for another milestone in infrastructure development and education.
I hope our graduates maintain their discipline and the good name of the academy wherever they go,” he added.
Masni hopes to produce many seafarers in Sarawak to fill the huge gap in the maritime shipping industry, the majority monopolised by foreigners.
The academy has for the past 16 years produced nearly 7,500 qualifi ed seafarers in various fi elds, mostly on cargo ships, oil and gas tankers while some become captains, offi cers or engineers locally or abroad.
The event was attended by Pelita Maslaut Sdn Bhd director of training and operations Mohamad Safrin Masni, general manager of Pelita Maslaut Sdn Bhd (Sibu) Mohamad Nazim Masni, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting, community leaders and distinguished guests.