Labuan Economic Sector Coalition Calls for Fair Dialogue on POS

KUALA LUMPUR: The New Labuan Economic Sector Coalition today called for a dialogue with relevant authorities and stakeholders to formulate fair standard operating procedure (SOP) requirements for the shipping industry on the island.

The coalition has expressed concerns about the prospects Labuan faces due to the implementation of SOP requirements, which force shipping companies and related major economic sectors to slow down or completely shut down their activities on the island.

Labuan is the first among the territories and states of Malaysia to have fully immunized over 80% of its population and achieved herd immunity.

Lead coalition facilitator Daniel Doughty said import and export difficulties in Labuan began on July 16, when all visiting local and foreign vessels were required to remain in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days at a maximum of 21 days.

He said merchant ships have been reluctant to visit Labuan to avoid paying substantial fees triggered by an extended stay in port due to the quarantine rule.

“The new SOP also disrupted supply chain security for more than three weeks despite shipping being included as essential services by the National Security Council,” Daniel said in a statement today. .

As a result, he said parts and machinery supplies as well as oil and gas production are affected, while shipyards are burdened with lost contracts and late penalties.

“All of this disappointment and frustration can be easily resolved if the Labuan District Disaster Management Committee is ready to engage with stakeholders and formulate a win-win SOP for all parties, and also recognizes that we cannot stand by. expect to have an SOP suitable for all types of business operations.

“It doesn’t work and the long-term impact is on the Labuan community and not just businesses,” he added.

Daniel said that the shipping industry as well as the oil and gas sector are currently the most important pillar of the local economy, as they are the main source of income and livelihood for most of the people of Labuan. while the tourism sector is still inactive.

“We urge the federal government and the relevant authorities to deal with and resolve this problem immediately, before it inevitably deals a severe blow to many other critical sectors in a chain effect,” he added.

Members of the Labuan Economic Sector Coalition include various professional associations and organizations, including the Labuan Freight Forwarder Association, Sabah Shipping Agent Association, Malaysia Offshore Support Vessels Owners Association, Malaysia Shipowners’ Association and Petronas. – Bernama

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