PUTRAJAYA: A national shipping industry policy aimed at boosting the country’s maritime sector is set to be presented to the cabinet by the end of the year, says Transport Minister Anthony Loke (pic).

Loke said the policy aims to encourage the use of local ships flying the Malaysian flag to transport goods and cargo.

“The main transport goods would be oil and gas, as well as the export and import of Malaysia’s main commodities such as palm oil,” he said during a press conference after the National Shipping and Port Council meeting on Thursday (June 27).

The country currently does not have a shipping policy. Loke said after further engagement with stakeholders, he hopes to present the policy to the cabinet by the end of the year.

He added that traffic at Malaysian ports has increased this year compared to last year.

Container traffic has increased by 22.7% at Tanjung Pelepas Port, 5.1% at Port Klang, and 10.3% at Penang Island Port from January to March this year compared with the same period in 2023.

Meanwhile, Loke said the maritime industry will provide job opportunities for Malaysian youth.

This year, the government has allocated RM10mil to upskill and increase the competence of local seafarers.

The fund is under the Human Resource Ministry, and the Transport Ministry will work with the Human Resource Ministry to implement the programme.

Speaking to reporters, Loke said that every year, 5,000 students enter the maritime industry.

He hopes to encourage more people to join maritime vocations.