PETALING JAYA: More professional groups have criticised Dr Rais Hussin's recent remarks about Malaysia's cabotage policy, calling it abhorrent.
The groups, representing Malaysia's logistics and marine industries, said they were “abhorred" by the inappropriate remarks made by Rais on social media, calling for his removal.
"If what he said is true, Rais – who holds the highest position in a prominent government linked company, is a disgrace, not only to his industry but his peers for uttering such words and should be removed," said Malaysian Shipowners' Association's (Masa) chairman Datuk Abdul Hak Md Amin.
Abdul Hak added that the remarks made by the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation's (MDEC) chairman are a personal attack and that professionals
on the cabotage policy itself, Abdul Hak said that Malaysia is one of about 100 countries worldwide practicing this policy.
“Masa stands solidly behind the (Transport) Minister in his firm action to ensure Malaysia’s sovereignty and security are safeguard by enforcing the country’s cabotage policy strictly," he added.
Similarly, Association of Malaysia’s Maritime Professionals (Ikhtisas) president Capt Zuradi Zainol Abidin said there was no need for emotional personal attacks by Rais over the cabotage policy.
"The esteemed Rais, resorting to a level of hurling personal attacks against the minister, has inadvertently permitted himself to join the sorry cabal of emotional individuals who opt for name-calling, as opposed to cerebral disagreement," said Capt Zuradi.
Meanwhile, Malaysian OSV Owners' Association (Mosva) president Safwan Othman described Rais' remarks as "condescending and unsolicited" for an individual in his position.
"Mosva does not condone such public statements but encourages mutual respect in the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia," he said, adding that there were more amicable ways to resolve the issue.
Additionally, Sarawak Association of Marine Industries (Samin) president Dr Renco Yong said the association "abhorred" the outburst by Rais with regard to his inappropriate remarks.
He said the association representing more than 100 shipyards and marine manufacturers in Sarawak supported Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong for his stand on the cabotage policy.
On Thursday (Sept 30), Rais tweeted an inappropriate remark against Dr Wee over the cabotage policy.
Earlier that day, Dr Wee challenged Lim Guan Eng (PH-Bagan) to an open debate over the cabotage policy, following a heated exchange in the Dewan Rakyat.
Dr Wee said that Malaysia's cabotage policy on undersea cable installation has always been the same since 1980.
At present, the national cabotage policy does not place a ban on foreign-flagged vessels from repairing undersea cables in Malaysian waters.
Lim accepted the challenge by Dr Wee.
In April, Rais urged the government to reimplement cabotage exemptions for undersea cable repair works, saying that it is vital to attract foreign investments.