Six major ports cater for international seaborne trade: Port Klang, Penang, Tanjong Pelapas, Pasir Gudang and Kuantan (Peninsular Malaysia); Kota Kinabalu and Kuching in (East Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak).
Port Klang, near the capital city Kuala Lumpur, is the premier port handling about half of the country’s throughput with 10 million TEUs annually, followed by the port of Tanjong Pelepas. Bintulu and Asean Supply Base (East Malaysia) and Kemaman (Peninsular) are specialised ports servicing the off shore oil and gas industry.
Ports in Malaysia are established either as Federal or State Ports and come under the jurisdiction of the federal or respective state governments.
Federal ports are incorporated as statutory bodies under various Acts of Parliaments which provide for their establishment, powers, functions and responsibilities. Each port authority issues its own set of by laws, rules and regulations issued under the parent legislation.
• Port Authorities Act 1963 (Port Klang, Johore Bahru, Kuantan ports) • Penang Port Commission Act 1953 (Penang port) • Bintulu Port Authority 1981 (Bintulu port)
Similarly State Ports in Sabah and Sarawak are established as statutory bodies under state legislation:
• Sabah Port Authority Enactment 1967 (Sabah Ports Authority) • Sarawak Port Authorities Ordinance 1961(Kuching, Rajang, and Miri)
Before 1990, ports were state enterprises but with the enactment of the Port Privatisation Act 1990 licensed private terminal operators have taken over and now perform port operations while the port authorities assume the role of landlord and regulators of such services.
Minor ports and jetties are dotted throughout the country’s coastline and some of them have been privatised with the main legislation, Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, governing them. The Fishing Development Authority, another statutory body, manages some fishing ports and jetties under separate legislation.
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