Wednesday, 22 March 2017

SPEECH: 18TH SESSION OF ASIA-PACIFIC HEADS OF MARITIME SAFETY AGENCIES FORUM

WELCOMING SPEECH 
BY THE HONOURABLE DATO’ SRI LIOW TIONG LAI
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT MALAYSIA

18TH SESSION OF ASIA-PACIFIC HEADS OF MARITIME SAFETY AGENCIES FORUM

WEDNESDAY, 22 MARCH 2017
CENTURY LANGKAWI BEACH RESORT, LANGKAWI

Datuk Seri Haji Saripuddin Haji Kasim
Secretary General, Ministry of Transport Malaysia

Dato’ Haji Baharin Dato Abdul Hamid
Director General of Marine Malaysia

Mr. Mick Kinley
Chief Executive Officer
Australia Maritime Safety Agency

Distinguished Delegates, 

Members of the media

Ladies and gentlemen,

A very Good morning to all of you.

On behalf of the Government of Malaysia, a very welcome to all delegates and guests or Selamat Datang as we say it in Malaysia.

We are extremely delighted to have you with us here, especially those of you who are visiting Malaysia for the first time particularly the beautiful island of Langkawi.

I would like to thank the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies (APHoMSA) Forum for giving Malaysia this opportunity to host the 18th session of APHoMSA.

It is our pleasure and privilege to host such an important forum which brings together heads of maritime agencies from all over the Asia-Pacific region.

I believe that it is truly an effective platform for delegates to discuss the current state of maritime safety, as well as existing challenges and advancements within the sector. 

Indeed, the APHoMSA has played a vital role in enhancing international cooperation in maritime safety. 

This year, I’ve been informed that more than 80 participants from 20 member countries, 4 specialize maritime organisations and 4 observer countries are attending the forum here in Langkawi. 

I am delighted to note that Heads Of Maritime Agencies from Maldives, Mongolia, Timor Leste and Vanuatu are also present in this session as observers.

I am pleased to also note that many topics of interest are on the agenda for the next two days. 

These include various discussions and presentations on domestic ferry services, Port State Control regime, ASEAN VTS Centre, E-Navigation amongst others. 

This is a prime opportunity for knowledge sharing in terms of technical, safety and environmental matters.

More Importantly, this year’s forum breaks from the norm, when we host it on the sidelines of the prestigious LIMA exhibition where you will experience a world standard maritime and air shows as well as exhibits.

I hope you have had the time to visit both the maritime and aerospace exhibition at Resorts World and MIEC respectively.

With more than 550 exhibits of which more than 240 are from the commercial sector, I trust this will certainly add value to this esteemed forum.


MARITIME SAFETY

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

Recently, Malaysia faced unfortunate incidents in our domestic ferry services. We have many domestic ferry services operating on non-convention vessels, which unfortunately are not governed by the IMO. 

For your information, the island of Langkawi being a tourist attraction, rely heavily on domestic ferry services as its main mode of transport from the mainland. 

Therefore, this forum is timely and necessary for us maritime regulators to focus on safety issues without discouraging competitiveness in the industry. 

In this regard, the forum serves as a platform for all of us to exchange views and experiences especially in managing and regulating domestic ferry services. 

I am confident that such a discussion will benefit us teremendously on the backdrop of our recent tragedies.

Realizing the importance of Port State Control to Coastal States, the harmonization of enforcement activities towards ships contributes to the efficiency of the service delivery and turn around time, thus increasing productivity of ports. 

I would also like to encourage member states to deliberate issues on ship calls at ports facilitation without sacrificing Port State Control regime principles.


CAPACITY BUILDING

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Malaysia places importance and priority in capacity building and international cooperation in the maritime industry. Towards this end, we have collaborated with IMO in organising capacity building programmes that had benefitted more than 300 participants from over 30 Member States of IMO since 2013. 

The programme ranges from technical training, attachments to maritime organisations of Malaysia and workshops – tailored for technical officers and mid level managers. 

All of these are under the umbrella of the Malaysia-IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP).

The programmes we offer have evolved from merely technical elements, towards more specific programmes, catering to the needs of Member States. 

Equally important, Malaysia has voluntarily made financial contributions to support the development of human capital building in the sector particularly to the World Maritime University (WMU) in Sweden and International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI) in Malta. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to note that this year and for the first time, Malaysia is introducing the Maritime Leaders Forum for high level maritime administrators and decision makers. 

The forum’s objective is to gather maritime administrators from various parts of the world, enriching their knowledge and skills in specific areas of the maritime sector particularly in leadership and governance. 

Just last week, we organised a 3 days Maritime Leaders Forum for the African region in Kuala Lumpur. It was attended by 23 participants from 22 African countries. 

Moreover, I was made to understand that prior to this forum, you had a one day leadership session here in Langkawi, where 45 delegates of the APHoMSA and invited observers attended. 

I hope you have benefited immensely from the programme.  


Distinguished delegates,

Further to that, we are currently developing the ASEAN Regional Training Centre for VTS at the Maritime Transport Institute (MATRAIN) in Port Klang funded by the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund. 

This training centre will be utilised to implement training for VTS personnel in accordance to international standards to contribute to safe navigation of ships in ASEAN waters.

The Centre will begin its first programme in July 2017 involving 20 participants from ASEAN countries for a 3 months training course. It is my fervent hope that in due course, this centre will be able to accomodate participants from all APHoMSA members in particular the Pacific Island Countries. 

Malaysia will pursue this initiative with the cooperation of our ASEAN colleagues. 

I wish to also inform all of you that Malaysia and the littoral States of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) is currently embarking on a Joint Hydrographic Survey of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the SOMS under the auspice of ASEAN-Malacca Straits Council (MSC). 

This survey will enhance the safety of navigation and improve the protection of marine environment in the SOMS through updated Electronic Navigation Charts (ENC) of the SOMS.

We are committed to ensure that the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) remains open for international shipping and safe for navigation through common efforts and regional cooperation.


MALAYSIA AS AN ACTIVE IMO MEMBER

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

Malaysia has consistently supported IMO, and we have played an active role in this important body since we were first elected to the Council in 2005 for the 2006-2007 term.

We are dedicated to supporting IMO in many areas particularly maritime safety, security, efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Testament to this, we have taken on an active and prominent role in IMO’s many Panels, Committees and Working Groups.

We have also supported IMO’s various policies, as we strongly believe in the need for continuous safety and security enhancements for the international maritime sector.

Malaysia is keen and determined to continue playing an active part in achieving IMO’s aspirations for safer seas and excellent standards of maritime industry.

On this note, the Government of Malaysia will submit its candidacy to the Council of IMO under category C for the next elections at the the IMO General Assembly in November this year. 

We hope our esteemed peers will endorse and support our continued membership on the Council of IMO. 


MARINE DEPARTMENT BOOK LAUNCH

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to take this opportunity in this forum to inform all of you of a publication by the Marine Department Malaysia titled “Spurring National Growth”. 

This book is the latest addition to the repertoire of publications on the seas around Malaysia and the role of key agencies in managing them. 

This book will be a testament to our aspirations for safe, secure and sustainable maritime transportation. 

Therefore, I am very delighted to be given the honour to launch this valuable publication at this prestigious forum witnessed by all of you, specialists and experts of maritime industry.


CONCLUSION

Distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen,

It is my firm belief that to promote safe, secure and environmentally sustainable maritime industry in the Asia-Pacific region, regional and international cooperation and partnership is necessary.

Hence, I urge all participants to work together and share your expertise in this forum, identify new ideas and new areas of cooperation.

It is my fervent hope that this forum will continue to build on the successes of previous sessions through its focus on pillars of the APHoMSA strategy.

I wish you all a successful and fruitful forum.

On a separate note, I hope you will enjoy your stay here in Langkawi, and please take some time off to enjoy the white sandy beaches of the island, its richness in culture and exquisite culinery and more importantly the duty free shopping experience Langkawi has to offer.

Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to declare the 18th Session of APHoMSA Forum officially OPENED.

Thank you.

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