New Labuan Economic Sector Coalition Urges Federal Government to Begin Dialogue to Formulate Fair SOP, Business News

LABUAN, Malaysia, Aug 12, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Labuan’s new business sector coalition (the “Coalition”), which includes various professional associations and organizations, issued a press release expressing serious concerns about the prospects from Labuan. due to the unfair application of the new SOP requirements, which force shipping companies and the main related economic sectors to slow down or completely stop their activities on the island. This despite the fact that Labuan is the first among the territories and states of Malaysia to have fully vaccinated over 80% of its population and obtained collective immunity.
Ts Daniel Doughty

Members of the Labuan Economic Sector Coalition include various trade associations and organizations including Labuan Freight Forwarder Association, Sabah Shipping Agent Association, Malaysia Offshore Support Vessels Owners Association (MOSVA), Malaysia Shipowners’ Association (MASA), Petronas, Labuan Shipyard & Engineering, Megah Port Management, Asian Supply Base, Sabah Flour & Feed Mills and Antara Steel.

Coalition lead facilitator Ts 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. 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 the security of the supply chain for more than 3 weeks despite the maritime transport included in essential services by Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN). As a result, parts and machinery supplies as well as oil and gas production are affected, while shipyards are burdened with lost contracts and late penalties.

Appeals to the District Disaster Management Committee (JPBD Labuan) and Federal Territory Ministry by various parties here have not been resolved, and the SOP shipping requirements that have been updated have not been favorable. despite Labuan’s successful transition to phase 3 of the national recovery plan due to its magnificent record in managing the Covid-19.

“All of this disappointment and frustration can be easily resolved if JPBD Labuan is ready to engage with stakeholders and formulate a winning SOP for all parties, and also recognizes that we cannot expect to have a suitable SOP for all.” the types of business operations It doesn’t work and the long-term impact is on the Labuan community and not just businesses, ”commented Ts Daniel.

MOSVA President Mohamed Safwan Othman said there are on average 10-15 Offshore Support Vessels (OSVs) loading essential supplies for more than 7,000 people working on platforms and platforms offshore. He explained, “With phase 3 SOPs, these ships are subject to 7-day quarantines and crews must undergo an RT-PCR test after each completed voyage. A round trip that takes 1 to 3 days does not involve no contact with personnel at piers. and platforms / platforms. Therefore, those vessels that make dedicated deliveries to the oil and gas industry should be exempt from repeated quarantine and RT-PCR testing. ‘to engage, each crew has already completed a 14-day quarantine with 2 swab tests so they should be safe in their respective green bubbles. These phase 3 SOPs are a significant disruption to supply circuits and, therefore, of national oil production.

Notably, a representative of MASA, Mr. James Ong, pointed out that Port Klang is not subject to SOP requirements applied in the same way, although it is located in Selangor, which is still in phase 1 of the national plan. stimulus. He said, “The strict SOPs currently in place would have been necessary when Labuan was still plunged into the pandemic two or three months ago. However, Labuan’s situation has greatly improved, so the introduction of these SOPs is obsolete.”

Coalition member Megah Port Management CEO Tan Sri Mohd Bakri Mohd Zinin echoed MASA’s dismay at the discrimination against Labuan and warned that if the government does not act quickly, the oil and gas sector could come to a screeching halt.

“Ships carrying containers shipped to Labuan have shown reluctance to call at Labuan and have instead chosen to unload their cargo at the nearest ports such as Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu. There they are able to obtain clearance. port sanitary facilities to dock without quarantine because Some shipping companies have even decided to stop their activities here because of the unfair conditions in Labuan.

It is ironic that hundreds of trucks and drivers can enter the island from Sabah (human contact) every day while ships with far fewer crews (without human contact) are restricted and forced into quarantine ” said Mohd Bakri.

He added that the situation is worrying because ultimately the problems of shortages and rising import costs would trickle down to consumers in Labuan.

The Coalition formally requested a dialogue session with the relevant authorities and expressed its willingness to be proactive and contribute to the development of a winning SOP. At the time of the announcement, they still had not received a response.

An emergency online meeting was held yesterday among coalition members to formulate consensus on the way forward and, most importantly, to begin documenting the past and future impacts due to the un-consulted and rigid SOPs created by the ‘authority.

“The shipping industry and the oil and gas sector are currently the most important pillar of the local economy, as it is the main source of income and livelihood for most of the inhabitants of Labuan then. that the tourism sector is still inactive. We urge the federal government and the authorities to address and resolve this issue immediately, before it inevitably deals a severe blow to many other critical sectors in a chain effect, ”concluded the Coalition’s lead facilitator, Ts Daniel.

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