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 Local

Association urges authority to resolve diesel shortage issue

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Simon (second left) flanked by his committee members, talking at the press conference

30th March, 2017

By ERIC BAGANG

KOTA KINABALU: The KK Fishing Boat Owners Association urges the authority to resolve the shortage of subsidised diesel problem as soon as possible.

Its chairman, Simon Hong said that the problem has become more serious and is affecting some 140 fishing vessels in Kota Kinabalu.

According to him, subsidised diesel quota for fishermen has been reduced every month since January this year, and it is burdening them.

“We are getting supply from two jetties, one is at the SAFMA jetty, and the other one is in Sepanggar.

“But the quota given for the jetty in Sepanggar has been reduced from 900,000 litres in January, to 800,000 litres in February, and only 400,000 litres this month, and this is not enough,” he told a press conference here yesterday.

Apart from that, Simon said that the monthly quota imposed on every vessel has also been reduced from between 20,000 and 30,000 litres for each vessel to between 15,000 and 18,000 litres now, aggravating their sufferings. He said that the vessel operators had to resort to buying diesel at industrial rate of RM2.10 per litre.

“The subsidised diesel cost RM1.65 per litre, and now we are also buying industrial diesel but if the price of industrial diesel increase, we would have to stop our operations.

“We are trying to compensate that by increasing the prices of the catch when we can but this is affecting the market, and affecting consumers,” he added.

He also stressed that the lack of refuelling facility is also affecting their operation efficiency as only three vessels can be refuelled at a jetty at one time, and refuelling takes around one to two hours depending on the size of the vessel.

“We are begging the government to look into our plight and resolve the problem as soon as possible as this time until July is the peak fishing season,” he said.

According to Simon, the subsidised diesel quota is regulated and monitored by Ko-Nelayan, while the quota for each vessel is imposed by the Malaysia Fisheries Development Authority (KLIM).

   
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