By S. Harrish
THE Sim Kheng Hong port in Kuching could be a temporary solution to the congestion faced in Senari port due to the computer system breakdown.
The Sarawak Manufacturers’ Association (SMA) said Kuching Port Authority (KPA) should look into using this port as manufacturers were now facing extra costs due to the system glitch since March 27 at the Senari port.
SMA president Joseph Lau also urged KPA to benchmark itself against international ports with better port system software and facilities.
If the situation drags on, he said young entrepreneurs in Sarawak may be discouraged from establishing start-ups in the state.
He said in a statement that the port congestion surcharges being imposed on exporters and importers were having adverse effects on manufacturers especially in the Kuching region.
For example, he said food manufacturers had to bear extra charges of US$200 per container of aluminium cans.
“Sarawak manufacturers need to maintain the competitive advantage with quality and value-worthy products.”
In the long term, Lau said Sarawak may lose its competitive edge due to issues like this.
He also strongly urged the Sarawak government to look into the needs of the manufacturing industry and help Sarawakian entrepreneurs.