Labuan urged to emulate Penang's development progress - MIDA | Malaysian Investment Development Authority
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Labuan urged to emulate Penang’s development progress

Labuan urged to emulate Penang’s development progress

20 Feb 2023

Labuan has the necessary ingredients to progress economically with better connectivity and infrastructure development, said Labuan Chamber of Commerce (LCC).

Chairman Daniel Doughty said Labuan, being a regional oil and gas hub and international business and financial centre (IBFC), can reach greater heights.

“We need to improve the connectivity by air, sea and land. We must link this island to the major cities in this region.

“We must continue to convince the government that Labuan has the potential to be at par with other developed cities like Penang which is connected by bridge,” he told Bernama today.

He said the construction of the proposed bridge linking Labuan and mainland Sabah would magnify the economic development progress on this island.

“As Labuan aims to diversify its economy, the proposed bridge would provide a significant boost to the island’s development… the bridge would foster connectivity, draw in new investments and generate jobs across various sectors such as tourism, logistics and agriculture.

“Moreover, it would render transportation more efficiently and cost-effectively for both the local population and businesses,” he said.

Doughty said the chamber firmly believes the bridge would unleash the island’s full potential as an economic hub and stimulate growth in the region.

“The bridge is not a luxury but a necessity for Labuan, the keyword is improved connectivity.

Looking towards the success story of Penang and its controversial bridge during the early days, now with its more than 350 multinational corporations (MNCs) and over 4,000 small and medium enterprises (SMEs), serves as a great case study for the potential of a new bridge to Labuan from mainland Sabah… Penang has a strong and vibrant electrical and electronics (E&E) ecosystem.

He said by building the bridge to Sabah, the federal government and Sabah state government could consider Labuan a new economic corridor that will serve the nearby mainland town and community.

“Attracting MNCs and SMEs to invest and operate in the new area corridor will create job opportunities, boost trade and stimulate economic growth for both mainland Sabah and Labuan.

He said following in the footsteps of Penang’s success, investing in this new infrastructure would unlock the potential of the region and bring about new opportunities for the people of Sabah and Labuan.

Nevertheless, the chamber acknowledges the formidable challenges faced by the government in pursuing the bridge’s construction, therefore, it is crucial to adopt a pragmatic approach when dealing with this matter.

The LCC recommends that if the government encounters difficulties in funding the bridge as part of its social obligation, and if the Request for Proposal (RFP) processes for building the bridge fall short, then the government should consider relocating the existing ferry terminal to a new site to Tanjung Aru, which is nearer to Menumbok or Mempakul (in Sabah).

LCC suggests that the Ro-Ro service between Tanjung Aru and Mempakul could alleviate Labuan’s connectivity issues with the mainland.

The distance between Labuan and Mempakul is approximately 5.8 km, and the estimated Ro-Ro ferry ride duration is only 45 minutes.

Source: Bernama