|KUCHING (Jan 13): The Sarawak Shipping Association has claimed that several ordinances and laws concerning ships plying the state’s coastal waters have either been neglected or unnoticeably replaced by federal laws.
In a statement today, the association named the ordinances and laws as Sarawak’s Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1960, Carriage of Goods by Sea Regulations 1960, and boat licensing.
“Customs authority has also introduced additional regulations on ships plying Sarawak’s coastal waters such as the requirement for every ship berthing at private wharfs throughout Sarawak to get Sufferance Wharf Permit and pay relevant fees, which was never required for the past several decades since independence,” said the association.
According to the association, the Domestic Shipping Licence (DSL) issued by the federal Ministry of Transport is seen as duplicating the River Transport Permit (RTP) issued by the Ministry of Transport Sarawak.
The association lamented that this has created extra burdens on Sarawak’s ship operators.
“Under Cabotage Policy Exemption between East and Peninsular Malaysia ports, even foreign ships were exempted from obtaining DSL,” said the association.
The association urged the Sarawak government to look into these issues and negotiate with the federal government for amicable solutions.
The association said this should “de-burden Sarawak ship operators, rationalise the shipping freight thus benefitting people at large in Sarawak”.
The association pledged to increase interaction with related government agencies as well as build friendly and constructive platforms for a shared vision.
“We shall continue to join forces with our sister association, Sarawak and Sabah Shipowners Association, in protecting the interests of Sarawak’s shipping fraternity and to enable Sarawak’s shipping industry to grow in a healthy ecology,” said the statement, which was issued in connection with the election of its new office bearers.
Lee Kim Kwang was elected chairman along with Yeo Hock Kiang (vice chairman), Ling Ung Hee (secretary), Chong Kang Wui (deputy secretary), Geraldine Chang Ai Ching (treasurer), Muhd Fakarudin Abd Rashid (deputy treasurer), as well as David Chung Kim Chook and Liew Chia Yin (committee members).
|The Borneo Post|