|KUCHING (Feb 4): The funding for the Miri lorry terminal project has been approved and the implementation of the works should commence soon, the Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MoTS) has announced.
According to minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin, the overall plan is to establish lorry terminals in all cities and towns across Sarawak, starting with Miri, Kuching, Sibu and Bintulu.
“We have managed to get the funding approved and the implementation of the project will commence soon,” he said in his opening speech for the two-day lab on ‘Weight Restriction Order: Solution to Harmonise Operations of Heavy Vehicles in Sarawak’ in Bintulu recently.
Lee said his ministry would facilitate the need to have dedicated parking spaces for heavy vehicles to ensure better quality and more efficient service.
“At the same time, we want to ensure that public safety is given top priority.
“In this regard, we are looking at the successful model of lorry terminal or logistic hub in other countries like Singapore and Thailand.”
Meanwhile, Lee also highlighted one of the issues raised by Sarawak Lorries Association during the Sarawak Public Transport Committee (SPTC) meeting, which touched on problems related to the Weight Restriction Order.
“I have been told that the current regulation limiting the weight of a vehicle laden with goods on our road up to 38 tonnes, has restricted the movement of heavy vehicles across Sarawak.
“Such a restriction may lead to double or triple-handling, which in the end, could result in our transport sector not being competitive due to the high cost involved.
“I have promised the business sector and industry players that my ministry will look into the issue seriously and plan for holistic solution to resolve the matter,” he said, adding that the purpose of the lab would be to allow his ministry to listen to views from all the stakeholders before crafting the strategies meant to solve the problem.
Lee said as the minister responsible for transport matters in Sarawak, he was looking into improving the whole transport services of which both the federal and state laws as well as regulations would set the bearing to move forward in developing this particular sector.
“I believe there is a way where we can find a solution meant to improve and increase the weight of cargoes to be transported, instead of clinging onto ‘age-old laws’.
“As you have seen today, the roads in Sarawak are expanding in terms of capacity and technical specifications.
“The double-carriageway Pan Borneo Highway will be completed very soon, while the Coastal Highway and Second Trunk Road are also under construction.
“I urge the government agencies and regulatory bodies to relook at the process and procedures, especially in the issuing of permits, to ensure that the conditions set are according to the current needs and situations.
“Make use of this lab to look into the details and seek views from other agencies and also those in the private sector,” he said.
The lab, was attended by 80 representatives of various stakeholders including government agencies such as the Sarawak Attorney General Chambers, Sarawak Economic Planning Unit, Public Works Department Sarawak, Road Transport Department, Royal Malaysia Police, Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board Sarawak, Puspakom and the local councils, as well as transportation and logistics industry players represented by Sarawak Lorries Association and Sarawak Forwarding Agencies Association.
The programme was organised by MoTS, in collaboration with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development Sarawak.