MIRI (March 23): State Department of Transportation to upgrade facilities at seven lighthouses; Tanjong Dato, Tanjong Po, Tanjong Jerijeh, Tanjong Sirik, Tanjong Kidurong, Tanjong Lobang and Tanjong Baram.
His Minister Dato Sri Lee Kim Shin said there was a need to improve the lighthouse facilities as most of them were already very old.
“Sarawak Buoys and Light Board (BLB), in conjunction with the Navy Department, will conduct a study on how to improve the facilities of these lighthouses,” he told media after visiting Tanjong Lighthouse. Lobang here yesterday.
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Datu Buckland Bangik, was also present during the visit.
Lee, who is a member of the Senadin assembly, also proposed improving lighthouse security features, such as installing closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) and fencing to prevent vandalism, as well as the installation of a solar system.
He said this after buoys and lights, which previously fell under the Department of Infrastructure and Port Development, now fall under the state Department of Transportation, effective January 4 this year.
Lee’s department is also in charge of all agencies responsible for river and coastal transportation issues in the state, including the BLB.
“The ministry is currently carrying out an investigation of all buoys, lights and beacons in the state, as required by a convention to which Malaysia is a signatory.
“We also want to offer safe navigation to all local and foreign sailors,” he added.
Regarding the Tanjong Lobang lighthouse, he said that it has existed for years, which required the improvement of all facilities for the safe navigation of ships passing through the area.
“It was built in the 1930s. It is also the site of the Japanese landing in Sarawak during World War II on December 16, 1941.”
The original lighthouse was built by the British but was destroyed during the Japanese invasion.
Lee also urged the resident office here to maintain existing World War II structures near the lighthouse for tourism purposes.
On Monday, he visited the proposed site of a lighthouse in Kuala Baram, to better understand the condition of the ground to determine the type and design of the lighthouse to be erected.