Marine urged to monitor ro-ro ferries
Published on: Thursday, September 06, 2018

Labuan: A former member of the Advisory Council of Labuan Corporation urged the Marine Department to have regular and effective monitoring of the safety features of ro-ro ferries plying the Labuan-Menumbok route to assure continuing concerns of commuters. Fauziah Datuk Din was commenting on a viralised video clip on social media showing a ro-ro ferry with closely parked vehicles on board with little room for opening of car doors in case of emergency. The clip also carried the question whether the ferry had enough life rafts and jackets.

"This issue is not new. It has been highlighted before but regrettable no serious efforts had been seen to be made to enhance the safety features, though the basic safety laws were in place and a matter of enforcement. Some 8,000 vehicles and few thousands use the ro-ro ferries during festive occasion and as such warranted the department's effective action on safety matters. If the department lacked manpower then it should request for more," remarked Fauziah.

She added that it was unfair to put everyone using the ferry at risk. "Adding to this, the steps to the upper deck was also occupied by passengers sitting on them and blocking the walkway while motorbikes crowed the patch to the steps. Are all these not visible to those responsible for marine safety?" asked Fauziah.

Another commuter who returned to Labuan from the mainland last Sunday, Julius Elais said: "Apart from the dangerous congestion, the toilets were hardly up to the mark."

He suggested that it was best that enforcement officials travelled incognito on the ro-ro ferries and make their own findings and reprimand those who failed to comply will safety regulations.

"The problem would never be solved by continued ignorance."


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