Sunday, March 24

Kudat-Palawan ferry service facing ‘black wall’


KOTA KINABALU: The much publicised Kudat-Palawan Roll-On-Roll-Off ferry service is unlikely to start any time soon.

This is because the parties who initiated the sea link business venture are now facing ‘black wall’ in complying with the numerous requirements imposed by both the national and state authorities.

“I was informed that the Philippine-based operator of the ferry service together with their local counterpart are facing difficulties in complying with the necessary requirements and permits,” businessman cum politician Thomas Tsen said.

He said the much awaited operation of the ferry service was postponed many times despite the many public announcements made by the parties concerned, including local politicians and government officials both from here and Palawan.

“Per previous announcements, the operation of the ferry service was supposed to start as early as last year … then it was dragged to September, October, November and December.

“News of the said ferry operation again floated in January this year. However, till today the sea link project designed to facilitate mobilities of people and cargo within BIMP-EAGA member countries has yet to be a reality,” said Thomas who is also Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri treasurer and Kudat Branch chief.

He said a new ram had been constructed at the Kudat Port terminal to pave way for the smooth operation of the ferry service.

“The construction of additional facilities at the port area involving huge amount of money taken from the government coffers will be wasted if the sea link remains to be far from reality,” he said.

“I strongly urge the state and national governments to urgently intervene and address whatever problems causing the delay of the noble project for the benefit of the local populace of Kudat and Sabah in general,” he said.

He said the ferry service would surely help upgrade the status of Kudat and the living standards of the people in the district and Sabah in general.