MDEC chairman under fire for remarks against Wee


MALAYSIA Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) chairman Dr Rais Hussin’s recent remarks against Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (picture) over the cabotage policy issue was met with criticisms by shippers and maritime industry players.

Malaysia Shipowners Association (MASA) representing shipowners in Malaysia strongly and unequivocally condemn the Rais’ remarks, saying that Dr. Rais should not go on personal attack despite differences of opinion.

“As professionals we may differ in opinions, but we don’t go on personal attack. If it is true what he said as reported, Dr Rais who holds the highest position in a prominent GLC, is a disgrace not only to his industry but his peers for uttering such words and should be removed, period,” MASA chairman Datuk Ir Abdul Hak Mad Amin said in a statement today.

“Malaysia is one of about 100 countries worldwide practising this policy and MASA stands solidly behind YB Minister in his firm action to ensure Malaysia’s sovereignty and security are safeguard by enforcing strictly the country’s cabotage policy,”  he added.

Dr Rais on Sept 30 tweeted: “Minister with an IQ of cabbage should not be talking abt (sic) cabotage policy. Tech giants have written many times to the 2 PMs under PN, about the exemption of cabotage policy for submarine cable repair.”

Wee had told Dewan Rakyat last week that the cabotage policy is not the sole reason for Malaysia’s exclusion in the Apricot project. He had also said that the government will discuss the policy this month.

Association of Malaysia’s Maritime Professionals (Ikmal) noted that while cognisant of the divergent views currently existing between the proponents and opponents of the cabotage policy affecting submarine cable repair vessels,  Ikmal supports professional debates and cerebral discussions by each entity to further buttress its stand and opinions.

“What need to be avoided is for a party to denigrate and humiliate another individual simply on the basis of the latter holding a stance contrary to the former. Ikmal is of the opinion that the esteemed Dr. Rais Hussin, resorting to a level of hurling personal attacks against Minister of Transport, Datuk Seri Ir Dr Wee Ka Siong, has inadvertently permitted himself to join the sorry cabal of emotional individuals who opt for name calling as opposed to cerebral disagreement,” the association’s president Capt Zuradi Zainol Abidin said.

That being so, Ikmal hopes that whatever differences of stance existing between both can be resolved through wise and rational deliberations rather than opting for a free-for-all, by-the roadside style of encounters.

Malaysia OSV owners association (Mosva) also expressed similar sentiment, stating the Dr Rais’ statement is condescending and unsolicited for a Chairman of a GLC to make such disparaging

“There must be a more amicable way to resolve this. Any issues must be discussed in a proper and professional manner without criticising on any certain individuals,” its president  Safwan Othman