Chua: Reconsider implementation of Domestic Hubbing Services
Tawau, Apr 15, 2009: Member of Parliament for Tawau, Datuk Chua Soon
Bui, urged the Sabah Port Authority to reconsider its implementation
of Domestic Hubbing Services (DHS) in Sabah after being briefed by
the related business sectors in Tawau.
The DHS policy when
implemented, would require all container ships from Port Klang to
dock at Sepanggar port before all containers for Tawau, Sandakan and
Lahad Datu are transhipped by barges.
She said it was historically evident that ports are the driving force
of development and progress in any town , city or country around the world.
"Tawau, with its long
history of active trading and barter-trading activities have contributed much revenue in term of
taxes and income to the Tawau port authority.
limited export capacities from Tawau, its exports have reduced
considerably in the recent years, the consignees have been bearing
the freight charges of incoming containers with additional cost on
assumed empty containers out of Tawau." said Chua.
"The direct shipment
ensured goods arrived on time in Tawau because 'Time is the main
essence in any shipping and logistic activities'.
"With the present
economic downturn, Tawau is lucky to maintain an average of
3,000-4,000 containers per month of direct shipment. There is no
reason why Tawau should tranship just to save the low
volumes of containers port in Sepanggar.
"It was revealed that Sepanggar port only has an average turnover of more than 4,000
containers per month, a reduction from more than 10,000 containers
since the economic downturn. The DHS policy is seen to be a
monopolization to save Sepanggar port at the expense of other ports
Sandakan and Lahad Datu.
"This monopoly will lead to Tawau losing its competitiveness with
our trading partners of neighbouring areas of Nunukan, Tarakan and
Sulawesi in terms of transhipment and convenience. Our trading
partners might look for other ways of logistic shipment if
transhipment in Sepanggar meets with its teething problems. We will
lose our business forever.
"The DHS with its transhipment to Tawau can lead to unanticipated
problems and delay. The business sectors would like to know how many
barges are required to tranship 3,000 to 4,000 containers per month
to Tawau without causing any delay.
Chua said the Sabah Port authority should embark on the BIMP-EAGA
regions rather than working on the domestic market through its
liberalization and improvement on competitiveness to attract more
international activities in the region.
She also disagreed with the reasons given by the Sabah Port
Authority that East coast ports such as Tawau will benefit
with the implementation of DHS and the shipping agents still have
the leverage on the big bulk of palm oil from Tawau.
"The people should
not be confused between the container port and the palm oil port in Tawau
as they are operated at different locations. The reduction of the
RM75 per container by the DHS is insignificant as compared to the
total cost of the few thousand Ringgit container.
"If the new government is the 'people government', then the
implementation of new government policies should be with people's
interests in mind.
She (Chua) urged the state government also to listen to
the grouses of the business sectors in Tawau and to stop the DHS
policy in Sabah.