On 28 Apri 2021 Malay Mail reported Sarawak Deputy #Chief #Minister Tan Sri Dr. James #Masing stated that
“Sarawak won’t remove #cabotage policy despite calls from traders” This definitely surprised many #Sarawakian as all this while our understanding is cabotage policy is imposed by federal government.
Now DCM James Masing implied it is Sarawak own doing to impose cabotage policy which brings inconvenience and added unnecessary cost to export and import goods at the disadvantage of Sarawak people.
DCM Dr. James Masing’s argument of not exempting cabotage #policy for Sarawak “ for a simple reason that he wants to protect shipping companies in Sarawak so that they will not face any competitions from outside …”. One has to note that before cabotage policy imposed overseas ships could call at any ports in Sarawak to load and unload imported and exported goods at the shortest possible time and at minimum cost.
Cabotage policy stopping overseas marine vessels from entering Sarawak and they need to call at Port Klang for local ships to take over transportation service from #Port Klang to Sarawak. In fact it has created a middle-man elite known as shipping companies association, encouraging local shipping companies to make full use of such newly created monopoly business of plying between Port Klang and Sarawak ports at the expense of Sarawak people in term of higher imported goods pricing and less competitive exported goods pricing due to additional route between Port Klang and Sarawak ports.
It is never started with protecting shipping companies in Sarawak but to create new opportunity for shipping companies to make money from cabotage policy and Sarawak people is in fact paying extra which in turn becoming shipping company’s huge income.
Of course if Cabotage policy is now removed shipping companies will feel that their interest affected but cabotage policy is never a good policy as it only benefits a few while sabotaging Sarawak development owing to man-made higher cost of transportation of Sarawak export and import. Obviously, cabotage policy never created a win-win situation but #shipping companies take all the benefits and Sarawak industries, businessmen and Sarawak people are losers under cabotage policy.
Isn’t it time for Sarawak people to voice against cabotage policy for future development of Sarawak and to attract foreign investors?
Jamie Tiew Yen Houng
Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) Treasurer General