KOTA KINABALU (Sept 5): The people of Lahad Datu will be enjoying economic spillovers from the operation of a passenger ferry service between Bongau, Tawi-Tawi in the Philippines and Lahad Datu.
The passenger ferry service is expected to be launched on September 28, this year.
In addition to ferrying passengers, it will also allow the export of goods from Sabah to the island.
Zubir Food (Sabah) Sdn Bhd founder Dr Zubir Mohd Said said due to the availability of the passenger ferry service between Tawi-Tawi and Lahad Datu, they have entered into a joint venture with Jay Sayang Enterprise for the export of frozen poultry to Tawi-Tawi.
He said that on September 28, they will be making their first shipment of 30 tonnes of frozen poultry to Tawi-Tawi.
The ferry can load 350 passengers and 300 tonnes of cargo per trip.
“Our company is capable of offering competitive pricing,” he said at the Hyatt Kinabalu recently which saw the signing of the joint venture documents between Zubir Food (Sabah) Sdn Bhd, represented by its director, Haslinda Hadis, and Jay Sayang Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Johari Marki.
Dr Zubir also said that the company from Tawi-Tawi is keen on doing business with them as they have halal certification.
“The halal certification for the frozen poultry supply is important for the Muslim community on the island,” he said.
He also said other poultry supplies to the island lack the halal recognition.
Dr Zubir also mentioned that they also have their own slaughter house in Johor named Mars Global Sdn Bhd which produces 60,000 poultry daily.
“Our target is to meet the needs of the five million population on Tawi-Tawi,” he said.
Dr Zubir also assured that the local poultry supply would not be affected by the move.
Meanwhile, Tawi-Tawi Mayor Mohammad Faizal H. Jamalul said he welcomed the partnership to supply the halal poultry to the island.
He hopes the supply would be able to meet the local demand for halal poultry in Tawi-Tawi.
Meanwhile, Jay Sayang Enterprise Chief Executive Officer Johari Marki said importing poultry from Malaysia, especially Sabah, has its advantages as the supplies are halal.
He added that the present poultry supply in Tawi-Tawi comes from Manila, Zamboanga, China, Europe and Latin countries.
“The price offered is also competitive compared to other suppliers. Hence, we decided to enter into a joint venture with Zubit Food (Sabah) Sdn Bhd,” he said.
For the record, the journey from the port in Lahad Datu to Bongau, Tawi-Tawi, takes three hours.
Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) Kota Kinabalu District officer Gary Ambrose, who was present at the event, said that MARA provides assistance in the form of financing, networking, training and marketing to entrepreneurs.