Hornbill Unleashed

June 4, 2017

Masing says misinformed on cabotage exemption

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Image result for Dr James MasingMinister of Infrastructure Development and Transportation Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Masing said miscommunication had led him to announce a six-month cabotage policy exemption trial for Sarawak.

“If there is indeed no time frame, either my officers were misinformed, or I was misinformed by my officers,” he said when contacted on Friday.

The cabotage policy, which has been implemented since 1980s, requires all domestic transshipment of goods to be made using Malaysian vessels.

The Deputy Chief Minister said he had no clue what to make of the recent announcement of no time frame set for the cabotage policy exemption for Sarawak and Sabah.

“In all honesty, I don’t know,” said Masing.

He said the state government would do its part to find out whether shippers in Sarawak had real cause for concern over the abolishment of the cabotage policy.

“If their concern is genuine, then we are duty bound to find the solutions which will benefit both the shippers and the consumers,” he added.

On May 31, the Ministry of Transport announced that the government had not set any time frame for any decision on the cabotage policy for Sabah and Sarawak.

The ministry also said that it had set up a task force to assess the effect and impact of abolishing of cabotage .

“These findings will be used as the basis for our assessment of the effectiveness of the exemption. The assessment exercise is expected to take at least a year,” said the ministry in a press statement.

The ministry made the clarification after Masing said that Sarawak was to be exempted from the cabotage policy for six months before a decision is made on whether to abolish or maintain it.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced the abolishment of the cabotage policy for Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan effective from June 1, after leaders from Sarawak and Sabah had repeatedly requested for the policy to be reviewed as it caused prices of goods to be higher in their states.



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