Tuesday, September 26

Samin wants stronger cabotage policy implementation to protect interests of local shipyards, marine industry


(Seated from second left) Yong, permanent honourary founding president Ngieng Ping Sing and rest of the office-bearers posing for the photo session. – Photo by Peter Boon

SIBU (April 3): Sarawak Association of Maritime Industries (Samin) is seeking stronger implementation of the cabotage policy to protect the interests of local shipyards and marine industry in general, said its president Dr Renco Yong.

He pointed out that with a judicious implementation of the cabotage policy, Samin believed local companies would be able to compete on a level playing field with bigger international companies without compromising on product or service quality.

“We have been a strong advocate of strict application of the policy to ensure that the interests of local players in shipping, shipbuilding/ship repair and supporting activities are protected,” he said at the annual general meeting cum election of second office bearers for the term 2022-2023 here yesterday.

Yong cited the example of Indonesia, where the cabotage policy is implemented strictly to protect the interests of local marine players.

He said Samin has been a strong proponent of tightening the policy for the benefit of the locals instead of implementing it liberally which favours foreign companies.

“We will continue to look out for the interest of local marine industry companies by pushing for stricter implementation of the cabotage policy,” he added.

He said Samin has also strived to position itself as the go-to centre for those interested in obtaining information about Sarawak’s marine industry.

“This prompted us to undertake the biggest project so far which was the publication of 1,500 copies of ‘Sarawak Maritime Industry: A Catalyst for Growth’.

“This book features valuable information about Sarawak’s marine industry, its importance to the economy and the capabilities of local companies involved in the industry,” he added.

Earlier, Yong mentioned that since Samin’s establishment on Oct 25, 2018, the association has undertaken many initiatives and efforts to safeguard the interests of its members as well as promote the marine industry in Sarawak.

He said despite the movement restriction during the Covid-19 pandemic, Samin continued to remain active by organising several initiatives, in full compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

This included participating in an industry vaccination programme (including foreign workers) and issuing press statements urging the Sarawak government to allow those who adhere to the SOPs to continue operations.

“Despite the MCO, we conducted committee/council meetings online and engaged stakeholders such as government agencies and universities to disseminate information Sarawak’s marine industry and promote the industry.”

Meanwhile, Yong was re-elected as Samin president during the association’s election of second office-bearers for the term 2022-2023.

The position of deputy president went to Captain Ting Hien Liong while Ling Tiu Khing was elected vice-president (Ship Building & Repair) and Jackie Chieng Yew Wei was elected as vice-president (Marine-Related Industries).

Peter Tay Kho Jim was elected as the association’s secretary while the position of assistant secretary went to Robert Tan Yong Yew.

Ngieng Hock Sii was elected treasurer and will be assisted by Jonathan Ling Nai Wei, Choi Man Siaw (general affairs officer), Gerald Chang Lik Yang (welfare officer), and Chieng Yeu Foo (education officer).