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Labuan Economic Sector Coalition finds local maritime Covid-19 SOP ‘unacceptable, inoperable’

16 Aug 2021

The newly-formed Labuan Economic Sector Coalition (LESC) on Saturday (14 August) issued an official statement commenting on the latest maritime standard operation procedures (SOP) for Labuan, Malaysia.

LESC members comprises of various associations and business organisations including the 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.

  1. LESC would like to emphasize that the controversial Labuan SOP was produced without thorough stakeholder and industry consultation.
  2. LESC would like to emphasized that the shipping, sign on /sign off SOP in Labuan be in tandem with the National SOP used in other ports in Malaysia.
  3. LESC finds the SOP is unacceptable, inoperable. We conclude that the SOP developed without a deep understanding of the implication and without considering the significant role that Labuan plays in the oil and gas and supply chain industry in this region, forcing the domestic and international vessel to avoid Labuan as the port of call.
  4. Failing to do an early corrective measure will create an irreversible long term negative economic impact to Labuan if the decision remains status quo within the next 1 to 2 weeks. The repercussion will be much severe the longer we wait.
  5. Knowing the potential risk affecting the Labuan community livelihood and impact on the local economy, we believe that JPBD Labuan must be answerable to the public for putting the Labuan economy and the population future at risk if they insist on SOP that does not find the balance between economy and life.
  6. LESC suggests the activation of “CONTACTLESS PROTOCOL” during piloting and port operation.
  7. LESC would like to suggest that the Department of Safety and Health (DOSH) play a proactive role & collaborate with KKM in facilitating coalition members on the implementation of “Contactless Protocol” as part of the effort to find the balance between economy and life particularly for places that have achieved herd immunity such as Labuan Island.
  8. We would like to advise the government to reassess their decision and begin an objective dialogue with the Labuan Economic Sector Coalition to understand our challenges and proposed solution for Labuan.
  9. Since Labuan has achieved its herd immunity up over 90% of its adult population, LESC would like to suggest that the administrator begin to have a different mindset in approaching and managing Labuan in line with the spirit of the National Recovery Plan.
  10. Transparency, Engagement and Collaboration are crucial in making Labuan a model that thrives in this pandemic time for the rest of Malaysia.

Bunkering publication Manifold Times earlier reported LESC expressing grave concerns on the prospects facing Labuan due to unfair application of new SOP requirements, which are causing shipping firms and related major economic sectors to slow down or completely halt their activities on the island.

Related: Malaysia: New Covid-19 measures ‘unfair’ for Labuan maritime sector, says coalition


Published: 16 August, 2021

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