by : Hiew King Cheu
Reported on the 24.2.2015 newspapers, the DAP KKMP Jimmy Wong Sze Ping had criticized the Federal Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai on the upgrading program for the Kota Kinabalu Sepanggar Port and turning it to be an international shipping hub aiming to reduce the high sea freight charges to Sabah, and to improve the low efficiency on the handling of cargo in this major port in Sabah.
According to Minister Liow, the Port Klang is capable to handle large number of containers in a day, but when compared to Sepanggar Port, here it can handle very limited number of containers. This is largely due to the lack of facilities and operating spaces. Therefore, it is high time to improve and upgrade the same to meet the demand. His transport ministry has begun study and planning work on this upgrading to enable Sepanggar Port to handle more future loads of containers and cargos quickly.
The MCA Luyang State Assemblyman Hiew King Cheu does not agree to what Jimmy Wong had said. He retaliated by saying that Jimmy Wong can not simply jump the gun and making unnecessary accusation and challenges on Liow’s good proposal. It is so easy to just “hamtam”, but can Jimmy come up with some workable solution and even creative suggestion as part of his contribution to the people in Sabah? To remind him, “Hamtam” is not a contribution! It is utterly wrong to criticize when someone is working hard to assist the Sabahan, especially this is in view of lowering our high prices of goods.
The high prices of goods especially the consumer items are largely in the hands of the businessmen, and this is beyond the control of the government. Who sets the prices of goods and the profit margins? Apart from those consumer goods classified under “essential goods”, the government has totally no control what so ever over the prices of goods laid down by the businessmen. The government can only monitor and assist to level off inflation through strict monetary control in the country. Jimmy Wong is a successful businessman, he should know better.
Other forms of government assistance to lower goods prices are the localized measures, like the upgrading of the Sepanggar Port is a good example. By turning this port into an international shipping hub, will surely benefit the Sabahan in the long run, and also effectively reduces the handling charges, freight charges and to cut down the down time and waiting time on the shipping of goods through better shipping / cargo handling efficiency. This will in return effectively reduces the goods prices of many consumer items.
The MCA Luyang Assemblyman Hiew King Cheu advices Jimmy Wong is to have an open mind to accept the contribution and hard work that Minister Liow has brought for Sabah. At the mean while, we would appreciate and be delighted to listen to Jimmy Wong’s contribution (with creative suggestions) on the issue.