Tuesday, October 15

FSI hopes council can fix Sabah logistics woes

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KOTA KINABALU: FSI lauds the establishment of the National Transportation Council as announced by the Transport Minister recently (Borneo Post 10 Oct 2016).

FSI president Datuk Mohd Basri Abd Gafar said FSI and the Sabah business communities had long called for the setting up of such as body as the proper channel through which Sabah’s many transportation problems could be raised.

He said Sabah was unique as it is separated from Peninsular Malaysia by sea and there is lack of multiple modal transportation choices, such as rail, to move cargoes in the most cost-efficient way; Sabah industrialists, importers and exporters have to depend much on sea transportation.

There is also no price control mechanism in the logistics industry and this needs to be in place, he said.

“Much of our road conditions are poor, resulting in high maintenance costs for vehicles. Sabah road conditions and standards are not on par with that of Peninsular Malaysia.

“For example, the gross vehicle weight allowable for lorries is higher for Peninsular, the road tax system differs, with Sabah transporters paying more and the cost of spare parts and tyres is 30% higher.

Given the unique circumstances, Sabah needs special focus in terms of transportation needs.

With the establishment of the Council, FSI is hopeful that the many transportation and logistics issues raised by Sabah industries could be addressed and resolved.

FSI and the Sabah business communities had also called for a similar council at state level to be formed and would like to renew this call.

A state logistics council or the State Transportation Council could be the platform for local stakeholders to discuss and find ways and solution to the many logistics problems faced by Sabah industries.  The issues and recommendation then could be brought to the attention of the national council for endorsement or decision.