Hornbill Unleashed

May 8, 2017

Cabotage exemption a return to pre-Malaysia status quo, Sabah minister says

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

DAP Sabah chairman Stephen Wong welcomed the announcement regarding the cabotage policy exemption made by Prime Minister Najib Razak (pic) in Sandakan earlier today. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaSabah Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang welcomed today the return of a pre-Malaysia shipping agreement after Putrajaya lifted the cabotage policy for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

The Sabah special tasks minister said that the cabotage policy from over 30 years ago had a role in diverting shipping routes and might have seen as “interfering with the shipping policy of Sabah.”

“One must understand that even before the PM’s announcement, the Cabotage Policy was already partially liberalised in that foreign vessels are allowed to ship cargo to ports in Sabah direct,” he said in a statement.

“The only restriction is that foreign vessels are not permitted to pick up cargo from Sabah and ship to another port within Malaysia. With effect from 1 June, they will be permitted to do so, thus compete with local shiplines in domestic routes. With such competition, one can expect lowering of freight charges in the long run,” he added.

Teo stressed that the reduction of freight charges will be dependent now upon attracting local and international ships to call at ports in East Malaysia, and also the volume of cargo the ships can pick up from the ports.

“If the ships are leaving our ports with empty or half empty containers, I cannot see how freight (charges) would be reduced,” he added.

In a separate statement, DAP Sabah chairman Stephen Wong also welcomed the announcement regarding the cabotage policy exemption made by Prime Minister Najib Razak in Sandakan earlier today.

However, he said that the exemption would not automatically bridge the gap in prices of goods between East and West Malaysia.

“The exemption of cabotage policy in Sabah is only the first step, it would not entirely resolve the differences of price of goods between east and west Malaysia,” he said.

“A holistic approach must be taken to ensure that Sabah can fully develop at its full capacity and potential through liberalisation of sea trade,” he added.

He said that in order to take advantage of the cabotage policy, the government should help develop local industries in Sabah so that the state has its own products to export.

Source : @ The Malay Mail Online


1 Comment »

  1. I predict prices will continue to go up, amidst all kinds of excuses to delay the whole thing … technically unable to do so??

    Comment by tigeryk — May 9, 2017 @ 10:35 AM | Reply

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