‘Cabotage Policy Exemption To Reduce Rural-Urban Price Difference’

KUCHING: The exemption of cabotage policy for East Malaysia will help to reduce the price difference of goods in rural and urban areas.

Minister of Works Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said rural folk in particular should see price reductions once the exemption takes effect on June 1.

As there will be reduction in the transportation costs, the price of the goods will be more reasonable to Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan, especially involving delivery costs to the rural area.

The decision was made by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) after research was done on the policy and it will surely benefit the people in East Malaysia, he said after handing over government grants to various organisations in Petra Jaya yesterday.

As such, Fadillah said he was perplexed by the state Democratic Action Party (DAP), which is against the cabotage exemption.

The decision was not accepted by them (DAP) here. But in Sabah, they agree with the exemption of the policy, and the decision is also supported by other industry players.

I myself don’t understand how the issue became a political agenda but the statement was baseless, said Fadillah, who is also Petra Jaya Member of Parliament and Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth chief.

We, especially at the state PBB Youth level, fully support the abolishment of the policy because it will benefit the people, especially in Sarawak � the price gap between the urban and rural areas can be reduced, more reasonable, and affordable, and not burdensome.

Fadillah pointed out that upon the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway, transportation prices should also become more stable.

State DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen had called Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg’s advocacy of abolishing cabotage policy detached from reality and ignorant of the effect of the cabotage policy.

This was despite DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng advising Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem to cut cabotage policy when the latter was sworn in as chief minister in 2014.

Lim had said then that doing so would bring down the prices of goods and services in Sarawak and Sabah to the same level as those enjoyed in the peninsula.

Meanwhile, Fadillah presented government grants totalling RM359,000 during the event.

In his speech, he advised recipients to hold more activities and programmes to benefit not only their members but also the community at large.

Source: Borneo post online