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Kuala Lumpur policy set Sabah’s potential back 30 years: Star
Published on: Monday, March 04, 2024
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Kuala Lumpur policy set Sabah’s potential back 30 years: Star
Chua said now that any shipping company can directly use Sabah a loading port or as port of call, there are endless opportunities that the region can take advantage of.
Kota Kinabalu: Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (Sabah Star) lauds the Federal Government’s decision to discontinue the National Load Centre policy that centralised all cargo shipping to Port Klang in peninsular Malaysia.

Vice President Datuk Kenny Chua said Sabah lost so much opportunity to develop its port capability over the past 30 years.

“Three decades is a long time. We fought so hard against the cabotage policy and for so long our grievances had been left unheard.

Because of the policy, we in Sabah and Sarawak had to pay more for almost everything. 

“For so long, we have felt unfairly treated. Our party leaders and the people persistently asked the question: why do we have to pay more for the sake of Port Klang?

We are the poorest state. So, it made no sense why federal enforced the policy on us in the first place.

“It’s a huge relief now that the Madani government has decided to discontinue with it though it should have been done long time ago.

To put this in perspective, a Sabahan child born at the time when the policy was enforced is now in his or her 30s and probably has children of their own. 

That’s how long we have had to suffer” he said in a statement.

Chua said now that any shipping company can directly use Sabah a loading port or as port of call, there are endless opportunities that the region can take advantage of.

“But first, we must strive to become a stronger magnet to pull foreign investors. This means, frame the right policies and maybe also reframe existing ones,” he said in a statement.

International shipping companies can continue to dock at any port in the country whether in the peninsula or in Sabah and Sarawak, Loke was quoted saying.

Chua noted that although this is a positive development, Sabah political and business leaders need to work closer to chart the way forward.

He opined that Sabah can emulate Singapore.

“The secrets to the epic rise of Singapore’s economy are well known. 

“I’m confident, Sabah can learn how Singapore had risen to become the world’s top shipping centre,” he said.

He noted that Sabah has the advantage of its geographic location, being in close proximity to key trading routes that makes the state perfect to set up a trading hub for sea and air traffic. 

“But being strategically located in the region is not enough for there are many other countries with similar geographic advantages. 

“Perhaps, we need to roll out more attractive incentives like low tax rates and tax breaks to entice businesses and investors.

Look at Dubai. Today, the country is a tax haven for millionaires. And when the world’s ultra-rich flock in, so does their money,” said Chua.

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