LAHAD DATU, Sep 5 — The maiden docking of container vessel 17224 DWT MV Danum 172 at the purpose-built Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) Container Terminal here today has raised Sabah’s hope of becoming the Rotterdam of the East
Deputy Chief Minister cum Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said the POIC Container Terminal would propel Sabah to greater heights to become an industrialised state by 2030.
“The Sabah government had agreed for the POIC Lahad Datu to become a full-fledged port on Oct 23, 2018 but there were delays, mainly due to bureaucracy and resistance from within the government itself.
“This indeed is a small step for Lahad Datu, one giant leap for Sabah. I wish to say sorry because all seemed on track last year... But only now it is happening. It was too long a wait; all the facilities had been in place for more than a year,” he said in a statement here, today.
The vessel is owned by Shin Yang Shipping Corporation (SYSCorp), a Sarawak-based diversified shipping and logistics company. The vessel brought in nine 40-foot containers of cocoa shells and took out nine 20-foot containers of fertilizers.
Moreover, Madius said the ministry was expecting all the requirements needed by the POIC to be made available soon, especially the legal landing place licence, which was promised by the Finance Ministry in Putrajaya last week.
“We are all anxiously waiting for everything to be in place so that POIC can live up to its potential,” he added.
Meanwhile, the POIC Lahad Datu chief operating officer Datuk Dr Pang Teck Wai said, the creation of out-going cargo was important because Sabah has always been paying more for shipping as containers were going out empty.
He said the event today was an endorsement from a major shipper, while confirming that the port has connected all the dots in shipping and logistics required for industrialisation.
Besides, SYSCorp chief executive officer, Ting Hien Liong, said his company was proud to be the first to call at the POIC Container Terminal.
POIC Lahad Datu, a state-owned company, was set up in 2005 to spearhead palm oil-based downstream industry, and has been promoting its port as a logistics hub leveraging on the growth of global shipping via the Lombok-Makassar shipping route which passes by Lahad Datu.