The Malaysian Transport Ministry will hold a meeting with tech giants to discuss the repair of subsea cables

The Malaysian cabotage policy regarding submarine cable repairs became a concern in mid-November 2020 when the then-Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, revoked the exemption for vessels engaged in such repairs.

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Representatives from Facebook, Google, and Amazon Web Services are set to meet with the Malaysia Transport Ministry next week to address concerns related to undersea cable repairs. The Transport Minister, Anthony Loke Siew Fook, explained that the meeting aims to clarify the government’s stance on cabotage policy restrictions for submarine cable repair vessels and provide certainty to the tech companies involved.

On Friday (5 May), Minister Loke, during the signing ceremony between the concerned stakeholders, said, ‘My role as a minister is to provide certainty and clarity about this policy. Investors they want clarity, and we want to provide (it) so that they can make informed investment decisions in Malaysia. There are a few different issues involved with the cabotage policy. Part of the issue that gained media attention is the undersea cable which is just one sub-sector. We are actively looking at that. In fact, next week I’m meeting up with IT companies representatives from Facebook, Google and etcetera’, he added.

To provide some context, the cabotage policy is designed to safeguard local businesses by prohibiting foreign-flagged vessels or foreign-registered ships from operating in the domestic market.