Press Conference Statement (2) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong, Lim Kit Siang, in Penang on Wednesday, October 5, 1994 at 11.30 am:
Liong Sik should make special trip to Penang immediately to resolve the Butterworth Port congestion crisis with over 1,000 import containers awaiting clearance
Transport Minister, Datuk Dr. Ling Liong Sik, should make special trip to Penang immediately to resolve the Butterworth Port congestion crisis with over 1,000 import containers awaiting clearance and delivery to the consigness.
The congestion crisis started with the breakdown of the port computer system, PELKON I from 8th September and this forced the port authority to convert the entire port container operations to a manual basis.
This caused the port to operate only on at 60 per cent capacity which also resulted in mistakes, delays and huge losses involving thousands of ringgit daily for the 100-odd shipping forwarders.
There are over 1,000 import containers awaiting clearance at the Butterworth container section – which mainly comprises of raw materials and components for the manufacturers to produce finish products for exports.
If the congestion crisis at the Butterworth port is not resolved immediately, it would be another ‘black-mark’ for Malaysia’s infrastructure with adverse repercussions for Malaysia’s competitiveness in the world market.
Liong Sik took three days before he visited the Subang Airport after the Subang radar station fire on Augest 13 which knocked out the radar system and force air traffic controllers to resort to manual control – and brought irreparable damage to Malaysia’s reputation as an investment centre and tourist destination.
Liong Sik should not make the same mistake, and be indifferent to the Butterworth port congestion crisis, and must take immediate action to resolve the problem.