The Borneo Post (Sabah)
Authority should absorb additional charges imposed by shipping firms
KUCHING: Kuching Port Authority (KPA) should absorb additional charges imposed by shipping companies on importers and exporters due to its computer system outage at the port, says Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen.
In a statement yesterday, he said shipping companies have announced additional charges of RM300 per 20-foot container and RM600 per 40-foot container due to computer system outage at KPA causing delays in vessels turnaround and schedules at the port
Quoting the port’s official statistics, he said in 2019 KPA handled a total of 240,000 TEU (20-footer container unit) with an average of 20,000 TEU per month.
An additional charge of RM300 per TEU would amount to RM6,000,000 per month or RM72 million per year.
“Though charged to importers and exporters, the final impact of the increased charges will ultimately be transferred to and borne by local consumers and exporters.
“As these additional charges are incurred because of the negligence and mistake of KPA in maintaining its computer system, it is most unfair to force local consumers to bear the costs of KPA’s negligence and irresponsibility.
Chong who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman once again called for a review to be conducted and cancel the privatisation of port service.
He added that Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing as the minister-in-charge of port services must clarify and ensure the public are not forced to bear the costs and losses of KPA and its service provider’s negligence and failure.