Cahya Mata Sarawak (CMS) Managing director Datuk Richard Curtis couldn’t hide his frustration with the slow pace of development in Sarawak.
“In Sarawak, the Government is moving too slowly. Part of the problem is the interaction between the state and federal governments,” the Star quoted the CMS Managing Director as saying during a panel discussion at Ernst & Young’s ETP forum.
“When foreign investors come and talk to us, they say we can’t build smelters without a port, or with a two-lane road. We are embarrassed by this,” he said according to the national daily.
“The catalytic role to spark big-scale investments has to come from the Government, but this has yet to happen. I’ve been in Sarawak nearly six years now and we still haven’t got a decision to build a port, and you can’t have smelters without a port. It is still being talked about between state and federal.
“Where are the infrastructure components? We need to see the firemen, police station, hospitals, and security when we commit to invest,” Curtis said.
Curtis cited the Samalaju Industrial Park, Bintulu – in the Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy as a positive example of a project that was making steady progress in East Malaysia, adding that Sarawakians need good reasons such as jobs for them to return to the state, the paper said.
This was the time to deliver, not talk, he said. “If we do it right, foreign investors will be encouraged, and the many Malaysians TalentCorp is trying to bring back will be encouraged because they can see things are changing.”
Curtis also said the Government needed to improve on its contract strategy. “When you (the Government) put out a tender, please make sure you go through with it. I have 10 to 15 tenders that have been renewed nine times over the last two to three years. These are empty promises.”
He said this disrupted his business planning, bonuses and key performance indicators. “If you don’t have the money (to pay for a project), don’t get us to waste our time.”
“But things have improved tremendously in Malaysia, such as our immigration department, which is world class. In fact, it’s better than world class. So fill in the gaps where we aren’t,” he said.