Malaysia’s cabotage issue: 3 questions for Dr Wee Ka Siong

Dr Wee’s Facebook post mainly talks about the cabotage and the shipping industry but he didn’t address the elephant in the room, which is submarine cable investments into the country.

(Soya Cincau) – Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong has recently responded to our post about MyIX’s statement on Facebook’s new submarine cables to Singapore and Indonesia. In case you missed it, MyIX had issued a statement describing the new submarine cables as a huge win for Singapore and Indonesia but a significant loss for Malaysia.

MyIX which is known as the Malaysia Internet Exchange is an initiative under the Malaysian Communications Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and it’s Malaysia’s only non-profit national internet exchange body operated by the industry. MyIX is managed by a committee consisting of local Internet Service Providers (ISP) such as TIME dotcom, Maxis, YTL Communications, MyKris Asia, Celcom Axiata, Redtone, TT dotcom and Telekom Malaysia. Some of its international members include Akamai, Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix and Telenor.

For the past few months, MyIX has called upon the government to reinstate the cabotage exemption for foreign vessels to conduct undersea cable repair works or risk losing out more foreign direct investments (FDI) to neighbouring countries. The cabotage issue is seen as a stumbling block for Malaysia to position itself as an investor friendly country for submarine cable investments which will provide a robust and reliable internet infrastructure.

It appears that Dr Wee Ka Siong wasn’t too pleased when former Transport Minister Anthony Loke shared our post on Facebook with the caption “Thanks to Wee Ka Siong for his “brilliant” strategy of protecting one company at the expense of the nation’s interest!”.

In his response on Facebook, Dr Wee described this publication (SoyaCincau) as an untrusted source and had accused his predecessor as trying to be a hero ahead of his party elections. You can read the full post on his Facebook page.

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