Sim: East M’sia exemption from cabotage policy can open up S’wak’s economy to the world

0

Sim said this would mean that all ports in the state would be accessible to foreign vessels directly.

KUCHING (March 2): The exemption of East Malaysia from the cabotage policy could potentially open up Sarawak’s economy to the world, said Kuching China Trade Importers and Exporters Association’s (KCTIEA) Digital Economy Unit chairman Dato Sim Kiang Chiok.

He said this would mean that all ports in the state would be accessible to foreign vessels directly.

He believed there may be savings in terms of both cost and time due to the exemption from the cabotage policy, as goods and services would not need to pass through Port Klang.

Despite this, he noted that international vessels would still need to obtain permits to dock at Sarawak ports for security reasons.

“Granting exemptions to the policy for all ports in East Malaysia by the federal government would have a significant impact on the logistics costs for imported and exported goods.

“The cost adjustment will depend on the volume of goods that vessels can carry to and from our ports.

“If the volume is low, the transport costs will be high, and vice versa,” he said in a statement in response to Federal Transport Minister Anthony Loke’s announcement on March 1 on the cabotage policy.

A cabotage exemption allows foreign vessels to carry out certain activities free from certain restrictions.

According to Loke again, all local and foreign vessels conducting cargo services in Malaysian waters must apply for domestic shipping licences (DSLs) for reasons of national security.

He was also quoted to have said the ministry’s policy of promoting Port Klang as the sole national load centre, made in the 1990s, is no longer applicable.