Rights over state assets under review, says Masing after Loke puts damper on Bintulu Port

Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing

KUCHING: Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing has indicated today that the state government is studying whether the law enacted by Parliament in 1981 for the establishment of Bintulu Port is enforceable in Sarawak.

The Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister said the state government was now looking into its constitutional rights over state assets which have been under the administration of the Federal government over the years.

“I am not a lawyer but there are laws, I believe, passed by Parliament which cannot be implemented in Sarawak without the endorsement of the Sarawak State Assembly (DUN).

“The Sea Territorial Act which was recently passed by Parliament, can’t be implemented in Sarawak because DUN Sarawak didn’t endorse it,” Masing said, referring to the Territorial Seat Act 2012 which sought to amend the boundaries of the state’s territorial waters.

He added: “The federal laws which the Minister of Transport mentioned maybe one of them. As I said, we are looking at our state rights.”

Masing was asked to comment on remarks made by Transport Minister Anthony Loke in Miri this morning.

Loke had said that it will not be an easy move for Sarawak to take over control of the port as it was established through an act of Parliament.

“I do not know what they mean by that, how do they take over Bintulu port? It is a federal port and we have a federal legislation,” he said.

Masing, who was given the new ‘ports development’ portfolio in a cabinet reshuffle on August 22, had recently confirmed that the state was aiming at taking over Bintulu Port.

The port was established on August 15, 1981, under the Bintulu Port Authority Act 1981 as a federal body under the Transport Ministry.

In with with its privatisation in 1993 under the Ports (Privatisation) Act 1990, Bintulu Port Sdn Bhd was incorporated on December 23, 1992.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2019/09/02/rights-over-state-assets-under-review-says-masing-after-loke-puts-damper-on-bintulu-port/