Federal Govt decision to decentralise ports is a 'magnanimous move', says Kitingan

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's logistic and maritime centres will benefit from the removal of Port Klang port as the sole national load centre, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan

Describing the decision as a "magnanimous move" by the Madani, Jeffrey said that opening up all ports as national load centres benefits Sabah as it would boost the state's economy in the longer term.

The state Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry Minister said in a statement on Monday (Mar 4) that with the abolition of the cabotage and national load centre policies, the Federal Government must re-assess their priorities on ports and the maritime industry in Sabah.

"They need to ensure that adequate and timely funding is provided for Sabah to take advantage of their policy change so that the state can leverage on its ports and focus on building up the trade, industry and maritime sectors to increase cargo volume," he said.

This comes after Transport Minister Anthony Loke said last week that the Cabinet had agreed to do away with the national load centre policy in the 1990s to centralise all-cargo services in Port Klang.

Jeffrey said that he had appealed over the years to two previous Federal Government administrations to declare Kota Kinabalu's Sepangar Container Port as the second national load centre after Port Klang but was denied.

He added that Sabah and Sepangar Port sits strategically at the centre of the Asean region and the gateway to the BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines-East Asean Growth Area) sub-region.

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