independent body to study cabotage rule
THE Transport Ministry has been
asked to appoint a consultant to set up an independent body to
review the cabotage policy and address complaints of high shipping
freights between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
International Trade and Industry
Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the long outstanding
complaints by exporters and importers in Sabah and Sarawak were
discussed recently by the National Logistic Council which he
He said the independent body was
expected to make recommendations for discussion by the council in
six months’ time.
The cabotage policy adopted in 1981
reserves the domestic sea trade to Malaysian shipping lines.
Federation of Malaysian
Manufacturers Sarawak branch vice-chairman Michael Hii raised the
cabotage policy with Muhyiddin during a trade dialogue in Kuching
“I feel this matter should be
resolved so that local manufacturers will not suffer from the high
freight charged by the shippers,” said Muhyiddin.
On a Sarawak Manufacturers
Association official's request that the Government provide special
incentives to manufacturers in Sarawak to compensate for the high
transportation costs of goods, Muhyiddin said he would look into the
In an earlier keynote address to a
Sarawak investment conference, Muhyiddin said the federal government
approved 332 projects involving a total investment of RM26.2bil for
the first five months of the year.
Foreign investments amounted to
RM17.8bil or 67.9% while domestic investment was RM8.4bil.
“The major sources of foreign
direct investment were from Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and
Britain,” he added.
Muhyiddin said the country’s total
trade during the first five months of the year grew 11.2% to
RM481.6bil against the same period last year.
Exports increased 7.2% to