The Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives) of the 13th Parliament of Malaysia has passed the Merchant Shipping Ordinance (Amendment) Bill 2016 aimed at standardizing national maritime law with the international maritime community, reports Bernama.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi, when winding up the debate on the bill, gave assurance that the government would ensure that all merchant shipping companies would adhere to the national maritime law in ensuring the wellbeing of seafarers.
"The Marine Department will carry out annual audit on these merchant shipping companies to ensure compliance of the maritime law," he said.
The amendments to the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 were made in line with the ratification of the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 by Malaysia, which was adopted since July 31, 2013.
Among others, the amendment on Section 90 provides every seafarer on board a Malaysian ship to a minimum ten hours of rest in any twenty-four hour period and 77 hours in any seven-day period.
The amendment on Section 103, on the other hand, compels owner of every Malaysian ship and any foreign ship within Malaysian waters
to provide adequate health protection and medical care for seafarers employed on board the ship and that the medicine chest, equipment and medical guide carried on board is properly maintained and inspected by a responsible officer.