Malaysia's Transport Ministry will assist in probe into catamaran drownings

Malaysia's Transport Ministry will assist in probe into catamaran drownings
All measures must be taken to ensure the catamaran tragedy does not recur, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.
PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

KOTA KINABALU - All measures must be taken to ensure the catamaran tragedy does not recur, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

Read also: Sabah boat tragedy: Trip to paradise turns into nightmare at sea

He said his ministry, through the Marine Department, would assist investigations into the incident where four China nationals have been confirmed dead. Five victims are still missing.

Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

"If overloading was the factor, then it is a serious offence," Liow, who is also MCA president, said after the Sabah MCA Chinese New Year celebration here last night.

The catamaran carrying Chinese tourists sank at about 10am Saturday after departing the Tanjung Aru jetty an hour earlier.Photo: The Star/Asia News Network

Tourism was a key economic driver for the nation, as was the production of commodities such as rubber and palm oil that were enjoying higher prices, he said.

"This means more revenue for the Government, and we can assist the poor and reduce the cost of living," he added.

In this regard, Liow said he intended to meet officials of Sabah Ports and the Sabah business community to improve the efficiency of the Sepanggar Bay port.

"We have experience in developing Port Klang, which has become the 11th biggest port in the world and we want to share our knowledge," he added.

He said Port Klang could handle up to 26 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit, a measurement for containers) per hour while the Sepanggar Port could only do seven TEUs.

"We need to improve efficiency because this and transportation contribute to higher cost of goods," Liow said.

He said that apart from a robust economic growth in the Year of the Fire Rooster, MCA also wished for continued political stability and harmony among the people.

Also present were MCA deputy president and state party chief Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong as well as Sabah Barisan Nasional leaders.

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