Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai reiterated the Federal Government's commitment to enhancing the efficiency of Sepangar Port and develop it into a transhipment port.
Liow said he would be visiting the Sepanggar Port by the end of February as well as discussing with chambers of commerce on ways to improve the efficiency of transportation in Sabah.
"It is very important we improve the efficiency of Sepanggar Port so that we can lower the cost of transportation.
"The cost of food and things in Sabah is due to the cost of transportation.â€
By reducing the port charges and improving the efficiency of Sepangar Port, Liow believed that it could lower the cost of goods in the State.
Liow, who is also MCA president, said this to the media during the Chinese New Year celebration hosted by Sabah MCA Liaison Committee at Hakka Hall here yesterday.
The event was graced by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and spouse Toh Puan Hajah Norlidah R.M. Jasni, as well as Assistant Industrial Development Minister Datuk Bolkiah Ismail who represented Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
He said the government has experience with regards to improving port efficiency at the federal level, given that Port Klang is the 11th biggest port in the world and in a way, very efficient.
He said Port Klang managed to achieve 26 moves per hour but in comparison, Sepangar Port was only able to operate on seven moves per hour, having only one crane.
"That's why the Federal Government is looking at how to help Sabah State Government to improve Sepangar Port.
"I am here to assist, to help to improve the services of the port.
"And we would like to see ways we can help Sepangar Port to grow.â€