James Masing Should Direct KPA to Bear Port Congestion and Waiting Surcharges and Bear Losses of Importers and Exporters

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    Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:

    Just when the Kuching Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCGCCI) announced that the shipping companies at Senari Port have agreed to cease to impose congestion surcharges on consignees, at least 2 shipping companies have issued clarification letters that no such agreement has been reached. They are MTT Shipping Sdn Bhd and Malaysia Shiping Corporation Sdn Bhd.

    The main reasons given are their additional costs due to the delay in container handling service of KPA and no improvement of the situation at the KPA’s Senari Port.

    Not only have these 2 shipping companies made clear that they will continue to collect the congestion surcharges, other transport companies have also joined in to impose port waiting surcharges due to the delay in the container handling of the Senari Port.

    More than a month has gone pass since the KPA’s computer system outage, yet the problem is still not resolved. In this technological era, the snail-pace reaction of the KPA to resolve this problem is most ridiculous and embarrassing to Sarawak.

    Beside the additional congestion and port waiting charges imposed by shipping and transport companies, businesses also suffer huge losses due to the delay in the clearance of the containers. There is also the long-term impact of such a fiasco. Some shipping companies will soon start to re-route to other ports or increase their shipping charges to Sarawak. In long term, the notoriety of KPA’s container handling “disability” will reduce the number of ships coming to Sarawak which will translate into longer shipping time and higher shipping costs. All these are bad for business.

    In this whole fiasco which has gone on for more than one month and is still counting, KPA has kept exceptionally quiet and not held accountable for the huge losses caused by its negligence.

    James Masing should direct that the KPA or the appointed port operator company bear these port congesting and waiting surcharges and pay for the losses of the importers and exporters. As a minister, he should not be so protective of KPA or the appointed port operator company. He should prioritise the interest of the people and make those negligent accountable.

    Chong Chieng Jen
    MP for Stampin / ADUN for Kota Sentosa