Kuala Lumpur: The Port Klang Authority (PKA) foresees transhipment of conventional cargo, particularly in the dry-bulk segment, as a potential growth driver for the country, says General Manager Captain Subramaniam Karuppiah. He said for Malaysia to develop the potential in the dry-bulk segment, there was the need to set up a food security programme including storage for agricultural goods.
This is more so since neighbouring countries mostly import their food grain requirements directly from the source country which can include countries such as Australia for wheat, he told Bernama in an interview.
As a transhipment hub with storage facilities, Malaysian ports would be able to store commodities such as wheat from exporting countries which can then be re-exported to third countries from Malaysia, he explained.
Subramaniam suggested of this need to emulate the refinery and petrochemical integrated development project (Rapid) in Pengerang whereby refined oil would then be re-exported to third countries.
Similarly, a food reserves programme with storage facilities for the region can be set up at local ports.
“Why aren’t we doing that?” Subramaniam, who has been with PKA since 1994, lamented.
“We should pursue this path although the demand for conventional cargo currently is not as high as container volume,” he said.
However, a food programme for Malaysia needs to be established beforehand.
“If Thailand needs wheat, they don’t have to go all the way to import from Australia because we would have had it here in our ports had we set up the storage facilities through the food reserves programme,” he said.