Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) will be launching a twophase statewide operation with 115 enforcement personnel and 15 speed boats in anticipation of traffic surge with the upcoming school holidays and Hari Raya celebration.
Acting SRB controller Lt-Col Ding Tiew Wong said the first phase will be from April 19 to 21; while the second phase will be from April 29 to May 1.
“SRB will be monitoring the situation to ensure boat operators and passengers abide by the Sarawak Rivers Ordinance, 1993 and its Subsidiary Legislations.
“A total of 115 enforcement personnel and 15 speed boats will be involved in the operation. To date, there is no application for extra (boat) trips,” said Ding in a press release yesterday.
He advised operators of passenger boats to ensure their vessels are equipped with lifesaving equipment while having a valid River Transport Permit.
“They are also not permitted to carry excess passengers; that is more than the number stated in the Permit.
“Failing to adhere to this regulation will render the owner or ‘juragan’ liable to a fine of RM5,000 and two years jail in accordance to Section 34(2) of the Sarawak Rivers Ordinance, 1993,” he added.
He said boat operators are also reminded to not increase fares indiscriminately.
Meanwhile, passengers travelling in open boats such as speedboats and longboats are advised to wear lifejackets before proceeding with their journey, and not to crowd the terminal or jetty in order to avoid any untoward incidents.
“Passengers are also advised to adhere to instructions relating to safety given by the Sarawak Rivers Board enforcement officers on duty at the terminal or jetty.
“These safety precautions are meant to ensure a ‘Safe Balik Kampung’. SRB therefore appeals for cooperation from the boat operators, passengers, the public and other riverine users to adhere to all safety rules and guidelines to ensure the protection of lives and properties,” Ding said.
The Borneo Post