Beacon for small shipowners


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Jun 2015

Better protection: Liow presenting a cheque from the Seafarers Fund to Yahya Zuber at Masa’s new office in Putrajaya. Looking on are (from left) Masa vice-chairman Datuk Abdul Hak Md Amin, Masa chairman Nordin Mat Yusoff, Transport Ministry’s maritime division secretary Datuk Abdullah Yusuff Basiron and Marine Department director-general Datuk Baharin Datuk Abdul Hamid.

PUTRAJAYA: Affordable and competitive insurance coverage is on the way here for local small shipowners.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said under the proposed Malaysia Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Club, such shipowners would be able to receive insurance cover for a wide range of liabilities including death, personal injury, property damage and wreck removal.

“Even the abandonment of seafarers is covered,” he said when launching the Malaysian Shipowners’ Association (Masa’s) new office here yesterday.

He said the insurance would be applicable for ships below 300 gross tonnes and would be launched by year’s end.

Liow said he was coordinating with the Finance Ministry for a startup grant of RM4mil for the club.

“This will enable the Malaysia P&I Club to offer an affordable and competitive insurance premium to small shipowners involving third party liabilities,” he said.

Liow said his ministry was also preparing a comprehensive paper to support the appeal for a 100% tax exemption for shipping companies to be retained.

“We must justify why the 100% ­­tax exemption should stay and its correlation with the Malaysian shipping in the global market,” he said.

Liow added that it was­ crucial for local shipping to be competitive and sustainable in the world shipping market.

In the 2012 Budget, the Government planned to reduce the tax exemption from 100% to 70% of their statutory income.

However, the Government ­­ deferred the plan until this year following the appeal by the Transport Ministry and Masa.

Liow also said with Malaysia’s shipping industry not being spared from the global economic slowdown and world financial crisis, shipowners should focus on developing maritime human capital.

“It could be through up­skilling and re-­skilling to enhance efficiency, effectiveness, competitiveness and productivity of maritime’s most invaluable resource, its people,” he said.

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