This morning's session focused more on matters and issues pertaining to the Ministry of Communications, prior to the ministry's budget approval for the 2017-2018 financial year. Investment activities at the Muara Port terminal were among the issues raised.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mustappa bin Haji Sirat, the Minister of Communications explained that Muara Port is currently undergoing changes after its privatisation into Muara Port Company, which is a joint venture company with Darussalam Assets. Yang Berhormat said that the Muara Port Company was launched on the 21st of February 2017, and in the short period since then, a number of changes have been made. However, Yang Berhormat added, the country faces several challenges, firstly as the country's attraction in terms of volume is low.
Secondly, the country also has geographical constraints, where the turnaround time for vessels to load their cargo or the time between entering and exiting is around 31 hours. Third is the challenge involving economies surrounding the country. Yang Berhormat said turns Muara Port into a hub, but progress in neighbouring places are also taking place at a much faster rate. However Yang Berhormat said a number of changes in terms of crane services facilities have been made, which has shortened the time to load cargos. As an example, Yang Berhormat said the vessel time advert has been shortened from 16 to 13 hours; the internal time for loading is now only 35 minutes compared to the previous 1 hour, while crane movements have increased from 26 to 26.5 movements in an hour, which Yang Berhormat said are all encouraging signs.