SERIAN, June 9: Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities Willie Mongin is urging the federal government to review the cabotage system which does not benefit Sarawak and Sabah.
He said the system has negatively affected the growth of industries in the two East Malaysian regions.
Willie pointed out that the system is also resulting in higher prices of goods in Sarawak and Sabah.
“It is about time that the present federal government reviews the cabotage system, which to a certain extent has an adverse effect on the growth of industries in the country.
“I do understand that doing away with the system will result in shipping companies (losing business), but we have to look at the bigger picture for the development of industries, especially in Sabah and Sarawak,” Willie pointed out at a press conference.
Willie, who is Puncak Borneo MP, has earlier visited Hwah Yang Agro Industries, a factory involved in processing rubber, at Mile 31 Kuching-Serian Road, today.
According to Willie, among the industries that are affected by the cabotage system are the rubber downstream industries, which have to import raw materials.
He disclosed that there are nine rubber downstream industries in the state, which need to be sustained and developed to provide job opportunities to locals.
He stressed that under the system, vessels transporting the raw materials have to first berth at ports in Peninsula Malaysia, adding that the prices would increase once they reach both states.
Meanwhile, Willie in the morning also visited Lung Kong Rubber Factory.
He said the two factories that he visited processed about 115 tonnes of rubber daily with more than 50 per cent imported.
During the visit to Hwah Yang, Willie was accompanied by its executive director Wong Hung Yong and senior staff from the Department of Agriculture. — DayakDaily