Malaysian Minister of Transport Wei Jiaxiang emphasized that Facebook’s investment in Southeast Asia for submarine cable projects to bypass Malaysia is accused because Malaysia’s withdrawal of the submarine cable repair project exemption is groundless and does not fully reflect the actual situation. The allegations of the situation.
“The ECHO cable project is not a new project. This project was planned as early as 2015 and was awarded to NEC in 2018. Similarly, the BIFROST cable project was also launched as early as 2015, despite the fact that Alcatel Submarine Network Systems (ASN) has recently been awarded this project.”
He pointed out that these two projects were originally intended to connect the submarine cable to Singapore instead of Malaysia, because Facebook set up a data center in Singapore’s Tanjung Keining Data Center Park in 2019.
Xingzhou.com reported that Wei Jiaxiang responded to the report on the ECHO and BIFROST submarine cable projects shared by the former Minister of Transportation Lu Zhaofu on the Facebook page of the “SoyaCincau” website.
Lu Zhaofu shared the above report titled “Malaysia Internet Exchange Center (MyIX): Based on the issue of the revocation of the submarine cable maintenance project exemption, the latest submarine cables built in Singapore and Indonesia caused Malaysia to suffer huge losses”, and satirized the report. Thanks to Wei Jiaxiang for his “smart strategy” to protect a company and compensate for the national interests.
Wei Jiaxiang explained that previous submarine cable plans have also bypassed Malaysia, such as the Southeast Asia-Japan 2 (SJC2) submarine cable in 2018.
“However, the data center was set up in Singapore instead of Malaysia because we lacked data infrastructure. For example, during the 2018-2019 period when Pakatan Harapan was in power, time and money were wasted on outdated concepts such as flying cars instead of conforming to The data and innovation center of Industry 4.0.”
He also teased Lu Zhaofu, as an influential political leader, why he prefers to share unreliable news instead of quoting news from The Economist or Channel News Asia. “Does Lu Zhaofu hope to be selected as a hero by the party’s representatives in the upcoming Democratic Action Party?
“As we all know, especially the industry players, with the tense relationship between the United States and China, American companies have avoided installing submarine cables in the South China Sea because they feel that the U.S. communications network may be subject to Chinese supervision.”
He emphasized that since 2018, submarine cable projects have been changed to pass through the Pacific Ocean and bypass the South China Sea. Therefore, there is no issue of national maritime policy.
“During Pakatan Harapan’s administration, the former Minister of Transport (Lu Zhaofu) approved the coastal trade policy exemption for foreign ships to repair submarine cables on April 1, 2019. I revoked this exemption on November 15, 2020.”
He emphasized that the Ministry of Transportation will never sacrifice national interests in favor of any company, so there is no so-called monopoly problem, and the industry can also inquire relevant information through the Ministry of Transportation’s website.
He also said that since November 15, 2020, the Ministry of Communications has approved 7 applications for foreign ships to repair submarine cables, of which 6 applications were approved within 3 days and 1 was approved within 6 days.
Therefore, he emphasized that there is no problem of foreign ships having to wait for a long time due to delayed approval by the Malaysian Shipowners Association or the Ministry of Transport, and the authorities have also given priority to the management company of the two ships, ASEAN Explorer and ASEAN Restorer, Singapore Telecom. Singtel’s application.
“Don’t take the opportunity to accuse the Ministry of Transportation of the delay in the application process, nonsense!”
Wei Jiaxiang also reiterated his statement issued on November 25, 2020, that Malaysia’s shipping policy is aimed at safeguarding the interests of the Malaysian shipping industry. He called on all parties not to be affected by reports that did not reflect all the facts, and hoped that Lu Zhaofu could share more professional media reports in the future.
“Don’t pursue too much and keenly pursue the support of others and expose yourself as a politician who deliberately triggers negative opinions and deliberately ignores facts.”
Wei Jiaxiang emphasized that Indonesian officials have also recently tightened their shipping policies. “The Indonesian authorities have to defend their national sovereignty and provide more opportunities for local industry players. The strange thing is why Lu Zhaofu doesn’t mention this at all? Indonesia can defend their national sovereignty, but Malaysia can’t?
“I also suggest that Lu Zhaofu meet with Abdul Haq, chairman of the Malaysian Shipowners’ Association and his committee members, as well as shipping industry expert and chairman of the Malaysian Foreign Trade Development Agency Harlem Mohamed, to listen to the local industry’s comments on the existing maritime policy If you are willing to meet with them, I can help arrange!”