LABUAN: The Sabah Ports and Harbours Department, Labuan has no plan to scrap the RM1.50 domestic passenger charge on each passenger leaving Menumbok, Sabah for the trip to Labuan island.
Its director Captain Abel Ongkunik said the charge known as “Charge for Passenger (Domestic)”, was a regulated charge under the Ports and Harbours (Government Wharves) Regulations 2008 in the First Schedule subsection 4(b) for each passenger embarking for any domestic voyage.
“Based on this explanation, the department does not intend to scrap the charge,” he told Bernama today.
Abel said the “ferry passenger ticket” was actually a “fare ticket” paid for the sea transportation services from Menumbok to Labuan operated by the service providers, while the “Charge for Passenger” was for the use of facilities at the terminal and the jetty for the purpose of embarking to the ro-ro ferries and passenger speed boats.
He said other than passengers, there were charges for loading and unloading of goods, cargo and livestock, but these charges were known as Landing and Shipping dues based on their categories in the First Schedule subsection 3(1), The Ports and Harbours (Government Wharves) Regulations 2008.
“The ‘Charge for Passenger’ is being enforced and the collection started on June 1, 2009. The charge is currently contributing a small revenue to the Sabah state government, specifically meant for the maintenance of facilities at terminal area (including the terminal building, jetty, landing ramp, vehicle
holding ground, etc) to ensure the facilities are in good condition and for the convenience of the passengers or users.”
“This charge is not a new thing. For example, a RM3 charge is imposed by the Jesselton Point Jetty in the Kota Kinabalu Port Limit, and the same goes with the Semporna District Council, which charges RM2 for embarking of passengers at the jetty,” he said.
Bernama’s random check at the Menumbok terminal found that the department has given a facelift to the terminal, with improved facilities including the newly-constructed parking space built by the Kuala Penyu District Council.
The improvements and upgrading works costing about RM6 million, as reported earlier, include the seating arrangement for passengers and well-maintained toilets.
The ferry passengers and a political party here have raised their grievances over the charge, describing it as a burden to passengers and proposed that it be scrapped as there is no such charge on passengers levied by the Federal Marine Department in Labuan.
At least more than a thousand travellers use the terminal and jetty daily for the Menumbok-Labuan-Menumbok trip operated by three ferries as well as speed boats.- BERNAMA