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Barter trade system launch next month

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government is in the process of fine-tuning the barter trade system, which is expected to be launched next month.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Haji Apdal said that they are still identifying locations and aspects related to vessels and recognition in terms of the size of the vessels that would be used in the system.

“Rest assured that the barter trade will benefit both sides,” he said, citing trade between Kalimantan Utara and Sabah.

He added that in addition, there were international laws that they need to comply with for the implementation of the system.

Shafie, who spoke to members of the media after the Sabah level Sosek Malindo Conference here, also said that he concurred that the barter trade agreement between Sabah and Indonesia that was created 45 years ago needed to be updated.

He said this would benefit the communities from both nations and improve trade activities.

The issue of garnering electricity supply from North Kalimantan was also raised.

Shafie said that Sabah’s east coast suffered from shortage of supply and stated that the solution would be to connect the southern and northern grid. He added that the Federal government had already allowed the state government to take over the management of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) and the State government was still studying the financial aspect of the arrangement.

“We have a proper vehicle, and if everything is resolved, we will need power generation from hydro and coal from Kalimantan, which I believe also exports to Singapore,” he said.

However, he said that the price and supply offered must be considered first.

Another alternative, he said, is to get supply from the Bakun Dam in Sarawak which can be channeled via Lawas and Limbang.

North Kalimantan governor, Dr H. Irianto Lambrie, said that they have to work in collaboration with Sarawak Energy Berhad on the issue of power generation and supply.

“Our Sarawak counterpart is now conducting a feasibility study to develop electricity generation of 1,300 megawatt using hydro from the Mentarang Kalimantan Utara river. The cooperation is with investors from North Kalimantan and is expected to bear fruit once the feasibility study is completed by the middle of this year,” he said.

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