THE RIGHT HONOURABLE PEHIN SRI HAJI ABDUL TAIB MAHMUD, CHIEF MINISTER OF SARAWAK
In a complex and highly developed industry such as shipping, the importance of education and training cannot be overstressed. The State Government has long afforded them a high priority, since the quality and ability of individuals - the human factor - in all facets of the industry, is central to the State Government's objectives of safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans.
As members of the Maritime Community, you will, I am sure, be aware of the problem. You will have seen the surveys and read the reports predicting a severe shortage of seafarers, particularly officers, in the years to come. The current global financial crisis may have triggered a downturn in trade and, therefore, in demand for shipping which may, or may not, last for a number of years. But this will not address the underlying shortage, which is endemic in an industry characterized by an ageing demographic profile and a less-than-favourable public image but which, nevertheless, continually demands manpower of higher quality and with a greater degree of technical expertise
Shipping needs to be seen as an interesting, appealing and practicable option for school and college leavers. It must be able to provide a career path that matches the aspirations of the ambitious and capable young people that it so urgently needs to attract and retain.
The stated ambition of Sarawak Maritime Academy is to provide the maritime community and, in particular, the developing State of Sarawak, with a centre for specialized training and an effective tool for the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the developed to the developing maritime State. This is indeed a laudable aim and I have every confidence that this Academy will join the other educational establishments, in successfully helping to promote the highest practicable standards in maritime safety and security, efficiency of navigation and the prevention and control of marine pollution.
I wish to the Academy every success and its students in this, one of the most prominent maritime cities, and, once they have completed their studies here, a very successful career in the service of shipping.
THE HONOURABLE DATO SRI WONG SOON KOH SECOND FINANCE MINISTER
AND MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT & PUBLIC HEALTH
I am pleased to be invited to write a message in the souvenir programme of the Sarawak Maritime Academy. I wish to thank Shin Yang Sdn. Bhd. led by its Chairman, Datuk Ling Chiong Ho for taking a bold step in setting up the Sarawak Maritime Academy and for his wisdom in choosing Sibu as its base. Sibu is perceived as a transit point for seafaring towns and long houses situated along the upper reaches of the mighty Rajang River and Sungai Igan. Water transportation has played a significant role in our lives and we can see speedboats, express boats and cargo vessels berth along the Sibu Wharves.
Likewise, a number of shipyards including the recently listed public company, TAS Offshore Berhad are situated in Sibu. The setting up this Maritime Academy is therefore timely as Sarawak enters a new phase of economic stability with increased output of manufactured products and accelerated development. With the global economic recession ending and countries emerging from the negative effects of the downturn, trade volume among countries will definitely increase. This means that cargo containers and vessels will need more manpower with various skills and expertise to serve in their ships or be involved in the maritime industry.
I feel that it is important for us to be aware of the significant contributions of the maritime sector in the national and state economy, its potential for national integration, its history and role in the nation’s heritage. In view of this, I applaud the Academy for adopting the goal of “Towards Nurturing Global Maritime Professionals” as its motto.
I would therefore like to take this opportunity to call upon young Malaysians who love the seas and like to broaden their horizons to enroll themselves in this Academy where training courses on marine engineering, navigation skills, maritime environment including marine lives are available.
Lastly, I wish to thank the State Government for its support towards the establishment of the Sarawak Maritime Academy in Sibu. I hope that with the cooperation of the relevant agencies, this Academy will produce skilled workers and graduates to meet the aspirations of the Academy and the human resource requirement of the global shipping industry.
YANG BERBAHAGIA DATUK LING CHIONG HO, THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN OF SHIN YANG GROUP OF COMPANIES
I am very honored to join you in witnessing this auspicious occasion in the inauguration of the Sarawak Maritime Academy. The first in Sarawak, this ceremony is symbolic of the strength in maritime industry in Sarawak and we are well on our way in joining the ranks of developed education players in maritime studies. It is our aspiration to focus strategically in increasing this competitive edge and therefore we are ready and keen in fulfilling this Agenda.
Our State has a dynamic and sizable young population. The Company and The Government of Sarawak share much spiritually and by fostering strong industrial relationships, I believe that together, we are able to develop our respective economies at an accelerated pace in maritime education.
I take this opportunity to thank each and everyone for their valued interest, confidence, support and vision in the Sarawak Maritime Academy. I bid congratulations to all the maritime industries that have come together to develop and realize the aspiration to have the Maritime Academy in Sarawak, especially to YAB Pehin Sri Ketua Menteri Sarawak who has traversed lands and oceans to be involved in this endeavor We are honored to be part of this and shall endeavor to learn more and make this into a very successful maritime Academy.
I have no doubt that this Academy will be able to achieve these goals; it is my pleasure to wish every success to everyone endeavoring this historic project today.
DATO’ CAPT AHMAD BIN OTHMAN DIRECTOR GENERAL, MARINE DEPARTMENT MALAYSIA
The Marine transportation is of paramount importance in ensuring the efficient carriage of goods and services by sea globally. It must be emphasized that safety is a crucial element of shipping economics and it is wise to invest in it.
I am very proud of Sarawak Maritime Academy achievement to date and their aspiration to serve Malaysians as our community Maritime Education hub. Guided by the leadership and wisdom of Sarawak Leadership, Sarawak Maritime Academy is a fine example of success in the Maritime Education and preparing Young Malaysian in the Maritime career.
My congratulations to both Sarawak Maritime Academy and the team on the Official Opening of the Academy and its introduction into service and I look forward towards their growth and expansion to further enhance the Maritime industry in Malaysia.