Cabotage policy to be reinstated at Sarawak govt’s request — M’sian transport minister

Anthony Loke. Photo credit: Anthony Loke's Facebook page

By DayakDaily Team

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23: The Sarawak government has requested for the cabotage policy to be reintroduced to Sarawak, says Malaysia’s Transport Minister Anthony Loke.

According to a Bernama news report yesterday (June 22), Loke said that the Transport Ministry has agreed to reinstate the cabotage policy to support the domestic shipping industry in Sarawak.


The cabotage policy was initially waived in June 2017, said Loke, as there was a misconception that it disallowed foreign ships to continue berthing at the ports of Sabah and Sarawak.

Loke said that the exemption from the cabotage policy in 2017 allowed foreign ships to transport goods from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak.

However, the exemption did not assist in reducing the price of consumer goods in Sabah and Sarawak, including Labuan.

The exemption of the cabotage policy has a negative impact on the domestic shipping industry, said Loke, as it allows foreign ship operators to step in as competition which led to many local shipping companies unable to compete and ceased operations.

By reintroducing the cabotage policy in Sarawak, it meant that only domestic ship operators are allowed to transport goods between Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak.

“This policy requested by the Sarawak government aims to protect local shipping companies and increase their confidence to invest in new ships for the local market,” he said at a press conference after the inauguration of the journey and maiden stop of the container ship, MV MTT Bintangor at West Port, Port Klang yesterday (June 22).

Loke likened the cabotage policy as similar to the domestic airline regulations, whereby international airlines are not allowed to operate flights between Kuala Lumpur and Kuching as only Malaysian-owned airlines can provide the service. — DayakDaily