Sarawak government wants end to cabotage policy


KUCHING: The Sarawak government has proposed to the federal government to abolish the cabotage policy which requires all goods to enter the state through Port Klang.

Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg said he and the state cabinet viewed the repeal of the policy as among the ways to lessen the price of goods in Sarawak.

He said, the move would also ease efforts to develop the state’s basic infrastructure as construction material also needed to be imported and sent through Port Klang.

“Each imported item needs to go through Port Klang. It was suitable before because of the absence of volume due to lack of international trade.

“However, Sarawak now has established international trade and the time has come for the abolishment of the (cabotage) policy, which will enable foreign ships to come to the state,” he said.

“Earlier, when we practised cabotage, we did not have the Bintulu Port and our harbours were not conducive. However, now, we have ‘containerisation’ facilities. Thus, we are ready to abolish the policy and allow imported goods to be sent directly to the Sarawak harbour.”

Abang Johari said this in the Bersama Ketua Menteri Sarawak show aired live on TV1, from the P Ramlee Auditorium, at the Kuching RTM, here last night.

The programme moderated by Sayed Munawar Sayed Mohd Mustar was held to celebrate Abang Johari’s 100th day as Sarawak chief minister and discussed the significant initiatives implemented, which included the purchase of the Bakun Dam from the federal government, the establishment of the Development Bank of Sarawak (DBOS) as well as emphasis on the need for better infrastructure and communication (ICT).