Malaysia Works to Clear Plastic Waste Shipments at Ports
Malaysia is negotiating with countries sending their plastic waste to the Southeast Asian nation to take back the trash and is waiving storage fees to clear hundreds of containers of scrap stranded at ports across the country for months, officials say.Malaysia last year became the world's main destination for plastic waste after China banned imports of scrap.The Southeast Asian country upped scrutiny after huge inflows and stopped many containers that looked to unload scrap in Malaysia without the required permits…
30 Missing after Indonesian Ferry Catches Fire
Indonesian rescuers searched on Friday for 30 people missing from the blazing wreckage of a ferry off the coast of Java island.The KM Santika Nusantara was traveling between the country's second-largest city of Surabaya and the town of Balikpapan on Borneo island with 277 people on board, when it caught fire on Thursday evening, government official Syahrul Nugroho told TV channel TV One."About 245 people have been evacuated using small boats, while 30 passengers are still missing," he said.Officials have given no details on the cause of the fire.
31 Missing in Indonesian Fishing Boat Sinking
Indonesian rescuers were battling high tides and strong winds on Friday in a search for 31 people missing after a fishing boat sank in waters off Borneo island, killing at least four, an official of the search and rescue agency said.There were 37 people on board the vessel, four of whom had been found dead, while two had survived, agency spokesman Iman Saputra said by telephone."Rescue efforts will go on for the next four days. The obstacles are high tides and strong winds," said Saputra, who is based in Banjarmasin, the capital of South Kalimantan province, near the site of the sinking.The vessel had left the town of Pekalongan on Java island three days ago before running into trouble, Saputra said, adding that the agency had deployed 35 people to hunt for those missing.
IMO Training to Cut Emissions in Malaysian Ports
Malaysian maritime officials are touring the Port of Bintulu on Borneo island as part of an International Maritime Organization (IMO) training package helping countries to reduce emissions in ports.Thirty participants from authorities and ports across Malaysia are taking part in the event (24-26 July), with the aim of gaining improved expertise on assessing emissions in ports and devising strategies to address those emissions.The result – better air quality for local populations…
Indonesia Blames Coal Ship for Spill
A coal ship that dropped anchor off the coast of the Indonesian port city of Balikpapan on Borneo island was likely to blame for an oil spill, after dragging a pipeline more than 100 metres and causing it to crack, an energy ministry official said. Indonesia declared a state of emergency this week after the spill and fire killed five fishermen. The environment ministry said the oil covered an area of nearly 13,000 hectares and had polluted 60 km of coastal ecosystems, including mangrove wetlands and marine mammal habitats. "We suspect the pipe was dragged by the ship that caught fire," Oil and Gas Director General Djoko Siswanto told reporters on Thursday.
Oil Spill Blaze Kills Two off Borneo Island
Thick black smoke rose from a fire at sea near Indonesia's Balikpapan Bay on Saturday (March 31) which had claimed the lives of at least 2 fishermen, local media reported police as saying. Video footage uploaded to a social media website showed thick plumes of dark smoke rising from the fierce fire as people on fishing boats watch from a distance. Indonesia's state owned oil and gas company Pertamina, who have an oil refinery nearby, said in a statement that they had found no leaks at their refinery and that the incident had not halted their operations.
Indonesia Port Disruptions Cause Coal Delays
Loading disruptions at ports in East and South Kalimantan on the Indonesian side of Borneo island are causing a coal supply shortage in one of the world's most important export regions, causing delays as ships wait to take on new cargoes. Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon and port loading schedules seen by Reuters show 136 ships were offshore Indonesia as of Feb. 6, waiting to take on coal. The affected coal ports and anchorage zones include Samarinda in the province of East Kalimantan and Taboneo, near the capital of South Kalimantan, Banjarmasin, on the island's southern coast.
Indonesia to Sink 30 Illegal Fishing Boats
Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti has said Jakarta was ready to sink 30 foreign-flagged vessels caught fishing illegally in Indonesian waters, following a schedule being arranged by the authorities, says the Straits Times. "Indonesia will not compromise with, and will be very tough in taking action against and in arresting foreign vessels caught fishing illegally in Indonesian waters. The violation committed by the 30 vessels is illegal fishing," she said.
Indonesia Says It Has No Conflict with China in South China Sea
Indonesia has no conflict with China over the South China Sea, an Indonesian palace spokesman said on Wednesday, days after eight Chinese crew members were detained for allegedly fishing illegally in the Natuna Sea. "There is no conflict between Indonesia and China related to the South China Sea," said presidential spokesman Johan Budi told reporters. The Natuna Sea is an area between Peninsular Malaysia and the Malaysian province of Sarawak on Borneo island, at the southern end of the South China Sea. Indonesia has raised concerns in the past that China's claims in the South China Sea include waters near the Natuna Islands. China has accepted Indonesia's sovereignty over the islands.
Tight Budget Hampers Malaysia's Naval Ambitions
Budget constraints are jeopardising Malaysia's defence spending plans, which include replacing ageing fighter jets and beefing up its maritime capabilities, at a time when Beijing is growing more assertive in the disputed South China Sea. While Malaysia has traditionally played down any tensions with China over the contested waterway, it has long expressed concern about piracy and security along its land and coastal borders. More recently, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after it flew unimpeded across the Malay Peninsula last year exposed gaps in the military's tracking of the skies. "We have a lot of areas to be concerned about.
China's Assertiveness Hardens Malaysian Stance in Sea Dispute
The submerged reef would be easy to miss, under turquoise seas about 80 km (50 miles) off Malaysia's Borneo island state of Sarawak. But two Chinese naval exercises in less than a year around the James Shoal have shocked Malaysia and led to a significant shift in its approach to China's claims to the disputed South China Sea, senior diplomats told Reuters. The reef lies outside Malaysia's territorial waters but inside its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. The latest incident in January, in particular, prompted Malaysia to quietly step up cooperation with the Philippines and Vietnam, the two Southeast Asian nations most outspoken over China's moves in the region, in trying to tie Beijing to binding rules of conduct in the South China Sea, the diplomats said.
Cruise Ship 'Azamara Quest' Reaches Port after Fire
The Azamara Quest drifted off the southern Philippines with 1,000 people aboard after flames engulfed one of its engine rooms, injuring five crew members. Propulsion was restored by ship's engineers a day later and she limped in at maximum speed 6 kts to the harbor of Sandakan city in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah on Borneo island, according to the Jakarta Post newspaper. The fire on the Azamara Quest had been extinguished immediately, but five crew members suffered smoke inhalation, including one who was seriously injured and needed hospital care, the ship's operator has said.
Malaysia Mulls Second Shipping Line
Malaysia reportedly may set up a second national shipping line to help reduce freight charges between the peninsula and the states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo island, as traders in the two east Malaysian states had complained about high freight costs. "The proposal has come from the Ministry and the Cabinet is actively studying it," an official said. Malaysia International Shipping Corp., controlled by state oil firm Petronas, is currently the country's sole national shipper.