KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is currently reviewing its regulations on bunkering services in a bid to attract vessels passing through the Straits of Malacca to refuel in the country, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said on Tuesday (Sep 10).
Over the years, Malaysia has lost out to its neighbour Singapore in terms of bunkering, he added, according to local media.
“All ships coming to ports and passing by the Straits of Malacca, they need to refuel, but most of the time bunkering is happening in Singapore,” Mr Loke was quoted as saying by MalayMail.
Singapore is the world's largest bunkering hub, with sales of 49.8 million tonnes of fuel in 2018.
Mr Loke said Malaysia has to develop an ecosystem of supplies, regulations and enforcement.
“We have to give confidence to shipping lines that bunkering in Malaysia is safe and that we can be transparent,” he told reporters.
The minister admitted that red tape is hampering the growth of the local bunkering industry, with too many regulations and processes holding back potential industry players.
As such, the first step is to review and streamline the regulations. This task will be undertaken by the Transport Ministry as well as the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
"We already have our initial meetings at the official level between the two ministries, and of course that will lay the foundation," Mr Loke said, according to the Star.
"I will also have a meeting with the minister himself to finalise the details and to come up with comprehensive policies on how to move our bunkering industry forward."