WE REFER to the letter published in the Borneo Bulletin Opinion page on October 11, 2014 titled ‘Passenger ferry to Labuan lacks basic safety standards’ by Shuffrie. We thank the writer for his comments and appreciate his observations.
We wish to inform the writer and the general public that the matter has been investigated and several measures to rectify and avoid similar situations from occurring are being implemented by both the enforcement authorities as well as the operator.
We have since then carried out inspections on all foreign-registered and local-registered vessels to ensure that all safety features and requirements are complied with.
In our attempt to inculcate a safety-conscious culture on all ferries, it has been made mandatory for all ferry trips to begin with a safety briefing for all passengers.
This is a standard operating procedure on all voyages by the operator to raise awareness as well as educate passengers on emergency procedures.
For the specific issues raised by the writer in his article, we wish to inform him and the general public on the initiatives we have undertaken and will continue to undertake to ensure overall passenger safety and comfort such as:
- Instructing operators to only release tickets based on the number of seats available. This is to avoid any passengers standing in the vessel, thus avoiding any possible risk of danger to their well-being;
- Making it mandatory for all passenger baggage and cargo to be stored in proper cargo areas on the vessel without blocking exits and walkways. This will ensure that exits are not impeded during times of emergencies;
- Regularly inspecting lifejackets and other safety equipment on board to ensure that they remain sea-worthy and in proper working condition at all times;
- Ensuring that emergency exits are working properly at all times; and
- Holding consultations with the operator to look into ensuring overall standards of comfort for passengers, including upgrading the seating specifically mentioned by the writer.
We wish to reiterate to the writer and the public that the Marine Department will continue to give serious attention to the matters concerning safety of navigation, passenger comfort, vessels and crew members as highlighted by the writer.
We thank the writer for his valuable comments and assure him and the general public that matters pertaining to safety are regarded as top priority and will be taken very seriously at all times.
In our efforts to make travel safer and more convenient, we encourage members of the public to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 2771347 for any comments and information they wish to share. We would be happy to hear those comments to help improve services for all.
– Haji Matnor bin Haji Salleh,
Director of Marine,
Ministry of Communications