KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s Special Functions Minister Teo Chee Kang is confident that the northernmost district of Kudat will be a new socio-economic gateway to the state from Palawan, in southern Philippines.
Teo said it was his vision to make the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area a reality.
“With the ferry service, Kudat will be transformed, no longer an end-of-the-road town but a getaway for daily visitors and import and export of goods,” he said in a statement today.
“It will intensify Kudat’s economic development and provide more jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for the locals.”
Teo, who is also assemblyman for Tanjung Kapor in Kudat, said he had worked for years to plan the project and seek an allocation from the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Department.
“I’ve chaired many meetings to solve the technical issues involved and to get support from various government departments and agencies,” he said.
“Finally, the state government agreed to the project which would be subject to existing shipping laws and regulations.
“Unfortunately, the ferry operator only has a domestic licence, whereas an international one would be required under the international shipping convention.
“The Malaysian transport ministry can’t exempt him from this condition.”
Teo said the relevant party in Palawan had earlier requested that the proposed ferry terminal be moved from Brooks’ Point to Bululuyan.
He said he had also received a commitment from the Palawan government that the ferry service would be a reality. “I’m confident they’ll be able to propose a ferry service provider with an international licence,” he said.
The RM8 million ramp at Kudat port meanwhile has already been completed.