MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Indonesian counsellor’s cabotage claims misleading, says Wee


Transport minister Wee Ka Siong says Indonesian economic affairs counsellor Muhammad Muhsinin Dolisada has caused some confusion over Malaysia’s cabotage policy. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: The transport ministry has rejected claims from a counsellor at the Indonesian consulate-general in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, that Malaysia’s cabotage policy hinders trade between Sabah and Indonesia.

Its minister, Wee Ka Siong, said the claims by Indonesian economic affairs counsellor Muhammad Muhsinin Dolisada were “misleading”, clarifying that there was no hindrance to small vessel trade between Malaysia and Indonesia.

“It is regrettable that the economic affairs counsellor Muhsinin has caused some confusion due to inaccuracies in his claims.

“Muhsinin had mistakenly attributed the issue to Malaysia’s cabotage policy when in truth, it relates to non-convention vessels from Indonesia instead,” he said in a statement.

Yesterday, Muhsinin said trade conducted off Tawau’s waters and Kalimantan, Indonesia, was currently done with wooden hull ships and smaller vessels, which were not recognised under the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) regulations.

He said under cabotage limits, the IMO restricts trade to be conducted with steel hull vessels.

Responding to this, Wee said the cabotage policy is regulated under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance (MSO) 1952, not the IMO’s regulations.

On trade currently being conducted with wooden hull ships and smaller vessels, he said that under the MSO, an exemption is provided to registered vessels with a net weight under 15 tonnes and with a valid boat licence.

Wee said these vessels were not subject to cabotage policies.

“Instead of the cabotage policy, this issue concerns the recognition of trading certificates for non-convention vessels from Indonesia,” he said.

He said the ministry would continue to monitor the situation, and the marine department has been instructed to explain the matter to the Indonesian consulate-general in Sabah. - FMT

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