PUTRAJAYA, April 3 -- The Transport Ministry has given freight forwarding companies an extension of four days from Saturday to claim their non-essential cargoes at the relevant ports.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the ministry had agreed to extend the cargo release process to ease congestion at the ports after consultation with the National Security Council (NSC).
The cargoes concerned are at Port Klang, Johor Port, Penang Port, Kuantan Port, Melaka Port, Bintulu Port, and Padang Besar inland dry port (on the Malaysia-Thailand border).
The decision, taken on March 26, 2020, proved to be effective in easing congestion at the major ports, which have reached almost 100 per cent capacity, he said in a statement today.
To ensure smoother movement, Wee said the works to release the non-essential cargoes at the ports must be expedited and would be regularly monitored.
He said the action was necessary to ensure there would not be any hitches in the supply of basic goods to the people throughout the second phase of the movement control order (MCO) from April 1-14, 2020.
"Having seen the positive response to the ministry’s decision, state-owned ports in Sabah and Sarawak have also taken similar action to allow the release of such goods to reduce congestion.
"The Transport Ministry has shared its standard operating procedure with port operators, including in other countries, that had requested for it,” he said.
Wee said the ministry’s decision on the non-essential cargo release was consistent with the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No. 2) (Regulations) 2020 enforced in the current MCO.
Pursuant to the amendments made to the Schedule of Regulation No. 2, the minister said port and airport services and operations, as well as land, water or air transport are also deemed as essential.
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