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Ferry operator seeks special permit
Published on: Saturday, January 12, 2019
By: Nikko Fabian

KOTA KINABALU: The fate of the inaugural Kudat-Palawan Roll-On-Roll-Off ferry service now lies in the hands of the Transport Ministry.

Would only come into reality if the Federal Government through, the Minister, Anthony Loke, decides to give special international licence to the Philippine-based ferry operator to ply the route.

Daily Express learnt that a meeting between the Minister and local major players is likely at the end of the month in Kuala Lumpur.

The source said among the attendees would be Datuk James Ibrahim who was reportedly tasked to look after the ferry operations in Sabah.

The source said James would again request to the Ministry to seriously consider granting a special international licence to Sabah in order for the ferry operator to proceed.

The ferry operator is requesting a year or two special consideration in order for them to jump start the operation.

“The granting of the special licence will help temporarily reduce operational cost on the part of the ferry operator considering the short distance of the voyage (Kudat-Bululuyan ports), “ the source said adding that the operation of the ferry service will tremendously improve the economic scenario in Kudat and Sabah in general.

On the Palawan side, Provincial Governor Jose C. Alvarez had repeatedly assured that they are more than ready to start using the new sea link once Malaysia issues the “green light”.

“Palawan is ready to use the Kudat-Palawan sea connectivity for huge transhipment of agricultural products (bananas and pineapple) to foreign countries,” Alvarez said recently.

Meanwhile, James said the people of Kudat and other local traders are anxious to see the ferry service operation because of the expected domino effects that will bring to the district and its people in the area. - Nikko Fabian



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