‘Help govt educate public on cabotage policy’

Jinep (left) with Yong (right) at the installation ceremony.

THE cabotage policy should not be blamed for the higher price of goods due to freight charges.

According to Sarawak Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Henry Harry Jinep, the policy was relaxed in 2017.

Effective June 1, 2017, the policy which began in 1980, no longer limits the shipment of goods from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak to only Malaysian-flagged ships.

However, the policy is still applicable to cargo-shipping operations within Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan.

Jinep said there was a social media post that claimed the increase in price of goods was due to the cabotage policy.

“We lifted that policy in 2017 and today there is no critical increase in the price of goods.”

He said the state government needed to help people in Sarawak understand the cabotage policy better.

He was representing the minister Datuk Seri Lee Kim Shin at the Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association (SSSA) 34th Executive Committee 2023-2024 Installation ceremony.

He urged SSSA to work together with the ministry in its effort to educate the public on government policies regarding cabotage.

Meanwhile, newly appointed SSSA chairman Yong Ing Huong said traders and merchants were still depending heavily on maritime transport to solve their logistics problems.

“The transport of heavy and bulky cargo such as steel bars, gravel and sand would still be more economical to carry by ship, as we have a lot of natural river channels and long coastline suitable for ship navigation.

“Ships operating also provide growth momentum to the supporting industries such as ports, marine hardware, shipbuilding and repairing.

“At present, we have more than 100 members and we operate more than 2,500 ships. This is about 65% of the national fleet in ship numbers.

“Sarawak and Sabah own and operate the major portion of Malaysian ships; we are providing an important service to the country,” said Yong.

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Cabotage Policy , goods , price , Henry Harry Jinep


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