History of SMA
The SARAWAK MARITIME ACADEMY (SMA) is part of the SHIN YANG Group of Companies and has been specially established to cater for the critical need of having an internationally -accredited maritime training institution able to provide on-site pre-sea and diploma courses for Malaysian youths, particularly those located in Sarawak and Sabah. It endeavours to nurture, train, guide and prepare qualified Malaysian youths to venture into a seagoing career as competent Nautical (Deck) or Marine Engineer Officers serving on board the foreign-going (Unlimited Trade) vessels.
The Academy is appropriately located along the longest river in Malaysia, the Rejang River, in the town of Sibu, Sarawak. In cognisance of the globally well known shipbuilding and ship-repair expertise and facilities available in Sibu, the maritime training institution is conveniently positioned along Upper Lanang Road, a mere 3 km. from the town centre. It is envisaged that locating the Academy within the environs of an industry closely associated with ships will provide an impetus for the future seagoing officers to strive for excellence in their studies at the Academy.
There is an acute shortage of seafarers in the world to manage the maritime industry at sea and ashore. In a recent study conducted, almost 50% of officers and crew serving on board Malaysian-registered ships are foreigners. The dire need for Malaysians to replace these foreign nationals, especially within the officers ranks is, indeed, crucial, not only for commercial and economical reasons, but, also for strategic purposes.
As part of the human capital development requirements under the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy (SCORE) the state has implemented this project to meet the skilled manpower requirements needed to support the maritime industry.
With the establishment of the Sarawak Maritime Academy located in Sibu, it is hoped that more Malaysian youths would be keen to venture into a career at sea. It is also envisaged that the many shipping companies located in Sarawak and Sabah would now source their future Malaysian officers from the SMA rather than having to rely on foreign expertise.