Operations in Penang Port as usual during lockdown, says chairman

BUTTERWORTH: The container and cargo transportation along the Malaysia-Thailand border is operating as usual, says Penang Port Commission chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng.

Tan said PPC and Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) would work together to ensure the smooth operation of the Penang Port during the lockdown until June 14.

“Penang Port is categorised as an essential service.

“We will operate as usual for 24 hours a day and provide all service requirements for the port and logistics to meet the needs of the people during this critical period.

“Customs and other government agencies such as the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department (Maqis) will continue to operate as usual to assist industrial operators in expediting the process of loading and unloading containers or cargo," he said on Facebook after visiting the North Butterworth Container Terminal on Wednesday (June 2).

He said before the lockdown came into effect on Tuesday (June 1), PPC and PPSB had held several coordination meetings and set up a WhatsApp group led by PPC.

“Members of this WhatsApp group come from various departments and port users.

“All parties can communicate effectively through the group when there is any problem, ” he said.

He said the lockdown would be slightly different from the first movement control order (MCO).

“Currently, there is no ban on the movement of containers or cargo from Thailand to Malaysia and operations are running as usual.

"During MCO 1.0 last year, the Malaysia -Thailand border was closed from March 18.

“Only certain types of goods were allowed to continue shipping on April 7, and the border was only fully opened from May 7 in 2020.

“The current situation is also the same.

“All containers and goods from Thailand are unloaded in Padang Besar and Bukit Kayu Hitam before these are transferred to Penang Port by land and train.

“A total of seven train trips will arrive at Penang Port from Padang Besar every day, ” he said.

Tan also urged port users and relevant parties to adhere to all necessary measures and comply with all standard operating procedures set by the National Security Council.

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