Published on : Thursday, February 2, 2017
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) wish to convey its condolences to the victims of the capsized catamaran and their families.MATTA Vice President Inbound Datuk KL Tan said “The focus should be on search and rescue until the last victim is found. Many comments regarding the tragedy had already been made, MATTA’s focus is on actions to be taken to prevent tour boat tragedies, such as regulations and operations to be clearly displayed and monitored, with enforcements carried out around the clock.”
“The Marine Department of Malaysia is the main agency supervising boat activities. It is imperative that it exercises its wide powers to prevent boat tragedies in the seas surrounding our country, particularly in Sabah where sea excursions to idyllic islands are one of the main tourist attractions. Tour boats should only be licensed when fitted with safety, emergency and communication equipment, and tested for stability and structural integrity.
It can conduct sweeps on illegal jetties, apart from ensuring all ports and jetties under its supervision are safe and operational at all times.”Tan added “Ensuring our Maritime Zone is safe and peaceful to maritime communities and minimizing loss of lives and properties at sea based on a set standard are the responsibilities of the Department. The consequence for any lapse of fiduciary duty is dire, as the recent incident had shown”.
“The Marine Department of Malaysia and the Ports and Harbour Department Sabah should adopt the best practices for the interest of all. For example, there should only be a few main jetties on the mainland where tour boats are allowed to pick up and drop off passengers. Apart from monitoring the boats’ condition and facilities, inspection of skipper and crew licenses and competency, they should only be permitted to leave when the number of people matches with the passenger manifest.”