Sarawak govt targets takeover of Bintulu Port, MASwings this year, says Abang Jo

Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg (second right) launching the Sarawak Public Communications Unit's new logo at its fifth anniversary dinner. - ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: Sarawak aims to complete the acquisition of Bintulu Port and MASwings Sdn Bhd this year, says Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said these are among three important matters which the state government wants to take back from the Federal Government.

"We are negotiating with the federal government on the return of three items, including the Bintulu Port and MASwings.

"As for the third, wait first," he told reporters after attending the Sarawak Public Communications Unit's (Ukas) fifth anniversary dinner here on Tuesday (Aug 1) night.

Negotiations are ongoing between the Federal and state governments on the takeover of Bintulu Port, the country's main port for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Sarawak wants Bintulu Port to be part of a cluster of state ports under a Central Port Authority for streamlined management, operations and development.

The state government is also set to sign a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia Aviation Group on the acquisition of MASwings.

In his speech earlier, Abang Johari said Sarawak would take back three items from the federal government within the next three to six months.

"This will complete our economic ecosystem. When our economy is strong, it will elevate Sarawak's position," he said.

Abang Johari also said Sarawak's sovereign wealth fund would begin operations next year.

He said the fund's board of directors would be announced soon.

The Sarawak Sovereign Wealth Future Fund Board Bill 2022 was approved by the Sarawak Legislative Assembly last November.

It will have an initial amount of RM8bil to strengthen the state's financial sustainability.

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