Sarawak eyes third takeover


KUCHING: Sarawak is negotiating with the Federal Government on another takeover request following the proposed acquisition of Bintulu Port and MASwings Sdn Bhd, says Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He declined to reveal what the request was but said it would be announced within this year.

“We are negotiating with the Federal Government on the return of three matters to Sarawak, including Bintulu Port and MASwings.

“As for the third, wait first,” he told reporters after attending the Sarawak Public Communications Unit’s fifth anniversary dinner here on Tuesday night.

Sarawak wants Bintulu Port, the country’s main port for liquefied natural gas (LNG), 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 (MOU) with Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) on the acquisition of MASwings.

This is a follow-up to its meeting with MAG’s main shareholder Khazanah Nasional Bhd on July 7 and the MOU signing on the acquisition of rural air services between the state and federal governments on July 20.

In high spirits: Abang Johari (second from right) launching the Sarawak Public Communications Unit’s new logo at its fifth anniversary dinner. ­— ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The StarIn high spirits: Abang Johari (second from right) launching the Sarawak Public Communications Unit’s new logo at its fifth anniversary dinner. ­— ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

Prior to that, the state government agreed in principle to take over MASwings as a way to establish its own boutique airline.

In his speech earlier, Abang Johari said Sarawak would take three items back 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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