LABUAN: The Labuan Chamber of Malay Entrepreneurs (DUML) has called for the lifting of the ban on transhipment of rice at all ports nationwide, including at Labuan Port as it has severely affected its business activity.
DUML President Datuk Seri Mohd Alias Abd Rahman said the cargo handling activities at the Labuan Port (or known as Labuan Liberty Wharf) had been badly affected, with cargo throughput dropping between 20 per cent to 30 per cent over the last three years.
“The new port business of rice transhipment from Vietnam to Southern Philippines through Labuan Port over the last two years (since 2016) had helped activate the port handling activity after a slowdown in the oil and gas cargo handled at the port,” he told Bernama Monday.
The Ministry of Agriculture has issued a directive to the Ministry of Transport to disallow transhipment activities involving break bulk (bagged cargo) within the ports.
Mohd Alias claimed that Labuan’s economy, which is over reliance on oil and gas-related activities, has been badly hit by a slowdown in the sector, forcing a number of local and international companies to cease operations since 2016 and more than 10,000 foreign and Peninsular Malaysian workers to leave the island.