Masing refutes allegation KPA imposes extra charges to shipping companies due to computer outage

Masing (seated fourth left), KPA chairman Dato Awang Bemee Pengiran Ali Basah (seated fourth right), KPA general manager Robert Lau Hong Thiam (seated third right) and Infrastructure and Ports Development Ministry permanent secretary Datu Safri Zainudin (third left) as well as officers of KPA during a meeting at the port today (April 11, 2021).

Follow and subscribe to DayakDaily on Telegram for faster news updates.

KUCHING, April 19: Infrastructure and Ports Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing has refuted the allegation that Kuching Port Authority (KPA) imposed charges to shipping companies due to computer outage which caused the port’s container handling system to break down on March 27.

He clarified that it was the shipping companies which imposed extra charges to customers and not KPA.

Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, was briefed by KPA’s management during a working visit to the port today.

“The computer outage had disrupted the Container Terminal Management System (CTMS). This had caused congestion at the container terminal, in which normal transaction time of 45 minutes was extended to two hours or so.

“KPA had to resort to using a manual system at that time while awaiting for the computer system to be back in operation.

“Due to the disruption of the computer system, there was a delay in managing processes at the container terminal. This had resulted in a few shipping companies having to impose extra charges on their customers which in turn gave a negative perspective from the community towards KPA.

“It should be noted that the extra charges had been made by the shipping companies concerned, and not by KPA,” he said in a statement.

Masing was responding to a recent statement by Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen who said it was unfair for the public to shoulder losses caused by KPA’s flaws.

Chong in a statement last Saturday said several shipping companies namely MTT Shipping Sdn Bhd, Malaysia Shipping Corporation Sdn Bhd and AML Shipping Sdn Bhd have released notices to inform the implementation of the Kuching Port Emergency Congestion Surcharge due to severe congestions at Kuching Port leading to increased operational expenses of the shipping companies.

Hence, Chong had urged Masing to clarify the issue and ensure that the public is not the one bearing the losses due to KPA’s mistakes. — DayakDaily