Malaysian ports achieved reasonable growth in 2021, minister says

by SHAFIQQUL ALIFF / Pic source: Wee Ka Siong’s FB

SEVERAL of Malaysia’s ports have achieved reasonable growth in 2021, mainly due to the lifting of restrictions imposed during the height of the pandemic, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (third from left).

He said Port Klang, Selangor, was ranked the 12th among the busiest ports in the world while Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Johor, was at the 15th place in 2021, having served as gateways and trans-shipment hubs and frequently handling the largest container vessels of 24,000 20-foot equivalent units.

“Other main ports including Penang; Pasir Gudang, Johor; Kuantan, Pahang; Bintulu and Kuching, Sarawak; and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, serve as important regional ports providing direct shipping links to various parts of the country.

“Ports such as Pengerang, Johor; Sungai Udang, Melaka; and Kertih, Terengganu, provide facilities for oil and gas cargo and are actively involved in petrochemical industries, refineries and liquefied natural gas storage,” he said after officiating the 13th International Harbour Masters Congress in Kuala Lumpur today.

The conference, which was held for the first time in Asia, was hosted by the Port Klang Authority and supported by the Ministry of Transport.

Nearly 200 delegates from 30 countries will take part in the four-day conference and trade fair with more than 40 speakers and panellists expected to discuss sustainable capacity building, decarbonisation, digitisation, safe maritime transportation and new green technologies.

Wee added that the International Harbour Masters Association is an international organisation that promotes good practices in governing marine operations and security in port waters. with the ultimate objective of protecting the environment and providing a safe and secure environment for ships, passengers and goods.

“Almost 90% of our trades are seaborne and that is all the more reason why we need to ensure that shipping lanes are kept safe and functional. with our ports readily accessible.

“It opens up opportunities for Malaysia, especially Port Klang, to showcase the country’s achievements and future potential in the maritime industry which is a benchmark for safe and sustainable development and practices,” he said.

However, Wee further added that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the resulting escalation in oil prices and shortage of commodities, coupled with continuing high freight rates, have somewhat dampened the country’s expectations.

“It is our hope that a speedy resolution is negotiated in the case of the Russia-Ukraine conflict and hopefully accelerates the recovery of the global economy which is still reeling from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he concluded.