Policy is a policy of great importance to a nation. It refers to the right of a
country to regulate transport of goods and passengers by sea within its
territorial waters, contributing towards safeguarding a country’s coastal
waters, as well as to maintain sustainability of its domestic shipping market.
As a nation, Malaysia has been able
to capitalise on its strategic geographical importance in global trade, emerging from an agrarian economy
and becoming what it is today – an important trading nation. Having a sizeable
maritime domestic market, with several ports serving the international trade,
it has grown through the import and export of manufactured goods, strategic
commodities such as oil and gas, palm oil and many more industries. However,
Borneo is located off major shipping trunk routes, and this is where Malaysia’s
domestic shipping sector has served as a key link between the Peninsula and
all these factors, the need for a cabotage policy cannot be overlooked. It
serves as a crucial catalyst for the development of a sustainable maritime
ecosystem and capabilities in maritime assets.
cabotage policy is governed by law, which prohibits non-Malaysian ships from
engaging in domestic shipping. Even so, Malaysia has adopted several measures
to liberalise this regulation, enabling foreign ships to participate in the
domestic shipping market.
It is important to understand that
cabotage policy does not prohibit international trade
In conclusion, cabotage is a global
norm, adopted by 81% of UN countries with coastlines.
It is a catalyst for the
development of a sustainable maritime ecosystem. Due to Malaysia’s unique
geographic features and combined with a vast EEZ area with high potential for
blue economy development, cabotage is relevant to Malaysia. Coupled with that,
the need to safeguard the linkages between East and West Malaysia, particularly
for food security as well as national security justifies the implementation of