Is the Perikatan govt sleeping on the job? Guan Eng asks of cabotage policy review

Lim Guan Eng at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, April 14, 2021. — Bernama pic
Lim Guan Eng at the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex, April 14, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has asked if Perikatan Nasional (PN) ministers are sleeping on the job since they have yet to make a decision on the cabotage policy despite being given a deadline.

Lim said a month has passed from the April 28 deadline given by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassan.

“The PN Cabinet is sleeping on the job for failing to meet its self-imposed two-week deadline that expired more than a month ago on April 28 to decide whether to reverse the discredited cabotage policy of Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong that has affected high-tech digital investments of between RM12 billion and RM15 billion,” he said in a statement today.

Lim was reminding the PN government, particularly the six ministries which were given a two-week deadline starting April 14 during a Cabinet meeting to review the effect of the country’s cabotage policy on the digital and shipping industries.

“Now that the two-week deadline on April 28 has expired more than a month ago, there is deafening silence from Cabinet on their decision whether to persist with or reverse the present cabotage policy.

“Such indecisiveness on the outcome of this review is typical of a failed government,” said Lim.

On November 13 last year, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong refused to continue with Pakatan Harapan’s cabotage policy of granting an exemption to foreign ships carrying out repairs of submarine cables to encourage foreign digital investments.

Lim also alleged that the stubbornness of Wee in clinging to a failed cabotage policy had caused Facebook and Google to bypass Malaysia as an investment destination, when their concerns of delays of up to 27 days for submarine cable repairs were ignored.

Following the reversal, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chairman Datuk Rais Hussin too had openly accused Wee’s revocation of the cabotage exemption for causing Malaysia to be sidelined by Facebook and Google and instead favour Singapore and Indonesia as an investment destination.

“The cabotage policy exemption for high-value and high-tech digital investments should be reinstated to ensure that Malaysia does not lose out on digital investments of RM12 billion to RM15 billion,” he said.

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