Development of marine engineering related industries, including shipbuilding and repairing, is an important sector the maritime industry in Sabah and Sarawak can exploit further, according to a report in the Daily Express, an East Malaysia newspaper.
EMMC 2005 Organising Chairman, Tan Sri Halim Mohammad, according to the news report said a concerted and coordinated approach could be taken to first rehabilitate and rejuvenate some of the existing yards that have potential but have fallen behind due to poor management or inadequate capitalisation.
"Shipbuilding and repairing facilities with proven track records, like a few in Sarawak, must be supported to re-equip themselves with new technology and acquire new expertise
," he added.
"We have seen the rise of the shipbuilding industry in South Korea due to the strong support of the government, including through the provision of direct and indirect subsidies. But sad to say this has not been the case with Malaysia," he explained.
He said rather than trying to be overly ambitious in a highly competitive international sector, we could look into meeting some specialist needs like developing a niche in marine engineering and construction for the oil and gas industry.
"Good progress has been made by some yards in Sabah and Sarawak in this regard in building offshore platforms for the oil and gas industries. We could move into the development of floating production vessels and floating platforms, as well as build offshore support
vessels, including crew boats, tugs, barges, coastal patrol craft
and boats, fishery vessels and other vessels in a similar class.
(Source: Daily Express, East Malaysia)