KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is proud to be the first Asian country to be given the responsibility of hosting the International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) Congress, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The Transport Minister said the event underscored Malaysia's strong collaboration with international maritime and logistics bodies such as the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) under the United Nations (UN).
"As a council member of IMO and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), Malaysia, through the Transport Ministry, plays an active role in enacting and implementing international conventions besides promoting safe and sustainable practices in shipping and port operations.
"Besides that, Malaysia is also actively involved in regional maritime trade facilitation within Asean and our neighbouring countries," he said in a Facebook post after launching the 13th biennial IHMA Congress in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (June 27).
He said the country had to keep its commitment to shape and formulate international maritime policies with its international partners as nearly 4,700km of Malaysia coastlines are adjacent to the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea, two of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, while almost 90% of Malaysia's trade was seaborne.
He said it was vital for the country to ensure that shipping lanes are kept safe and functional with ports readily accessible.
"It is how we were able to weather most of the domestic and international Covid-19 restrictions and keep our economy ticking and goods flowing," the MCA president added.
Also present during the launch were Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairman Datuk Chong Sin Woon; PKA general manager Capt K. Subramaniam; IHMA president Capt Yoss Leclerc; and the Transport Ministry's Deputy Under Secretary, Maritime Division, Norhasliza Mat Salleh.
Wee also thanked IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim for delivering the keynote address for the IMO and continuing to cooperate with Malaysia in the shared aims for the maritime industry.