NOT CONDUCIVE: Factories near residential areas given time to shift to Kota Samarahan
TIMBER-BASED factories that are located too close to residential areas here and in Kuching have been ordered to relocate to the Kota Samarahan industrial estate, 25km from the city.
Second Resources Planning and Environment Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan said they had been given "a few years" to move.
However, he declined to disclose the exact time-frame given.
The reason the government wanted them to move, he added, was because many of these factories were situated in areas no longer suitable for them to operate from.
"They are too close to residential areas.
"Therefore, it is not conducive," Awang Tengah, who is also the state industrial development minister, said after declaring open the state-level Small- and Medium-enterprises (SMEs) Week here.
He also said the government had briefed the owners on why they needed to move.
Awang Tengah said he had also given his approval for the industrial estate to be extended from the present 97ha to 121.4ha.
The industrial estate here was established in 1993 for light industries, especially the furniture-making and food-processing factories.
He added that new factories would have to be located in the industrial estate.
Meanwhile, Da-tuk Hafsah Hashim, SME Corp chief executive officer, said she hoped that the SMEs Week could help SME entrepreneurs to further develop their business network.
Representing International Trade and Industries Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad, she said the week would give them further access to banking and financial facilities and assistance to expand their business.
The last industrial census showed there were 33,059 SMEs in the state -- representing only six per cent of the total SMEs in the country.
Of these, 77 per cent are micro-enterprises, 20 per cent small enterprises, with the rest categorised as medium enterprises.
The bulk of the enterprises, or 87.5 per cent, are in the service industry with seven per cent in the manufacturing, and the rest in the agricultural sector.