Hornbill Unleashed

June 29, 2017

Stop Channel Maintenance Recovery Charges

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

The state Democratic Action Party (DAP) has once again urged the state government to immediately stop the collection of the ‘Channel Maintenance Recovery Charges’.

Its chairman Chong Chieng Jen reiterated DAP’s objection to the implementation of the charges which was supposed to take effect in June last year, but was ordered to be deferred to June 1 this year by the late Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem, the chief minister at that time.

“The reasons for the postponement of the charges are; the deepening of the channel has not commenced and thus technically no channel to maintain, economy is not doing well and high costs of transportation for Sarawak,” he told a press conference at the party headquarters yesterday.

These reasons, Chong insisted, were as valid today as they were a year ago.

“Yet, while the late Adenan Satem could postpone its implementation, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg did not say a word about it,” he said.

The implementation of the recovery charges, he explained, will increase the port charges for a container by approximately 20 per cent. The rates were to be RM36.25 per Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit (TEU), RM72.50 per 40-ft container and RM1 per tonne on loose cargo.

“At present, the port charges for a 20-ft container is RM156.25. With the additional RM36.25 recovery charges, that’s an extra 23 per cent increase in port charges,” he said.

The cargo volume of Kuching Port Authority (KPA) for 2014, he revealed, was 9.1 million tonnes of cargo traffic in Kuching Port, with containers constituting 227,660 TEUs (5.4 million tonnes) and remaining cargoes making up 3.7 million tonnes.

“Based on the figures, with the Channel Maintenance Recovery Charges, an estimated total sum of RM11 million additional charges will be imposed on cargo shipment through Kuching Port every year and this extra amount will be borne by all Sarawakians in Sarawak,” he said.

Most ridiculously, Chong pointed out, was that the recovery charges were meant for the maintenance of a new channel which had not even been built.

“KPA is collecting maintenance charges in advance for something that has not existed. It is just like a purchaser of an apartment unit is asked to pay maintenance charges when the construction of the apartment has not even commenced,” he added.

Source : The Borneo Post Online



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