Stop operations, Sarawak forwarding body advises members

Forwarders are afraid to operate due to contradictory guidelines and roadblocks while sending goods considered essential. (Bernama pic)

KUCHING: Sarawak Forwarding Agencies Association (SFAA) has urged the federal and state governments to provide clearer directives for those involved in the transport and logistics services during the movement control order (MCO) period.

Its president, Joseph Chung, told FMT today that the industry and manufacturers were receiving too many contradictory statements and guidelines from federal ministries and the state disaster management committee.

As such, he said SFAA had told its members to stop their services and operations in movement of essential manufactured goods from today until further notice.

“This is just an advisory for our members and it’s not mandatory for them to comply with it.

“We are not trying to create a panicky situation here but if we can’t have something that is clear, then we’ll stop our services and operations.

“The whole industry is in a mess due to the confusion and SFAA is unable to give clear guidelines to its members,” he told FMT.

Chung said a lot of drivers had been facing problems with the authorities when carrying out deliveries.

“Letters from employers are not sufficient for drivers to pass through police roadblocks and we have received a lot of questions from these people on the ground.

“Each ministry is giving us their own directive and we don’t want to be caught in a situation where drivers suddenly have to be stopped by the authorities and then customers will not be happy because we’re all dealing with essential goods.

“As such, we prefer our members not to continue the business although logistics is considered an essential service,” he said.

Chung said he expected more than half of the SFAA members to comply with the advisory.

“Although we are performing essential services, we still have to take care of the drivers’ health. They have family members, too,” he said.

Yesterday, it was reported that the Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders (FMFF) may also advise its members to cease operations immediately due to the contradictory guidelines and harassment from the authorities.

It also complained about the relevant ministries’ lack of response to their predicament.