Saturday, July 31

Traders relieved over nod for barter trade

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Local NCS vessels are allowed to resume cross-border trade with neighbouring countries starting March 5.

TAWAU: The Sabah Cross-Border Traders Association is relieved that the State Government has allowed cross-border trade activities to the Philippines and Indonesia to resume.

Its chairman, Datuk Omar Bachora said the permission for Barter Trade and Transhipment Trans-border activities with the Non-Convention Ship (NCS) mode of transport to continue was a relief on his part.

The relief was shared because the traders feared that if the supply of rice and sugar was delayed, they would most likely have to bear losses of up to RM15 million.

“We are grateful to the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan for their concern, State Security Council (MKN) Director Sharifah Sitti Saleh Habib Yussof and Sabah Zone Assistant Customs Chief Datuk Abdullah Jaafar, Acting General Manager of Sabah Ports Sdn Bhd Felix Liangson, Chairman of Sabah BIMP EAGA Business Council Carl Moosom and Chairman of BIMP EAGA Malaysia Datuk Roselan Johar Mohamed,” he said today.

He also thanked the police, Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESScom), Marine Department, Sabah Ports and Wharf Department, Ministry of Health and all agencies involved.

He said his party would not miss this opportunity and would adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and work to curb the spread of the pandemic as they also understand that they are responsible as industry players to ensure that there is no contagion of new import cases from business activities.

Earlier, the State Government agreed to allow trade activities to be carried out again after going through evaluation and consideration by the relevant agencies.

The State Government has agreed to allow the movement of Indonesian and Philippine NCS vessels into the waters of the Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSzone) and all Malaysian NCS vessels from the ESSzone to the Philippines and Indonesia effective March 5 subject to strict SOPs for ship crew and entering and leaving through designated routes.