Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Iceberg

What we know is so little. There are much more that we do not know that is submerged under the iceberg. We have to strive to explore and discover new knowledge for the good of Malaysian shipping.


  1. The malaysian shipping industry is one which Ive personally felt lacks information sharing, we have traditionally been a very reserved culture causing ideas and concerns to be wastefully neglected.I salute this idea of creating a blogspot,especially an idea emanating from the Marine Department of Malaysia to provide an outlet for us in the shipping industry,on all levels to voice our concerns.I sincerely hope this is the start to a great journey of information sharing and is not pulled down by those who lack the vision to see its true purpose...Come on you sailors!! Time to talk, enough with the silence !!

  2. Kudos. This blog is only the tip of the iceberg, in fact it is only the top of the tip. As it floats it will gradually melts in many many years to come. Ironically it shall become the melting pot for great Malaysian shipping minds alike. It needs to be shaped up or else it will be shipped out. The lay public are not priviledged to understand much about the shipping industry and what goes behind the screen empowering and propelling the economies of our 1Malaysia. I am looking forward for articles that could stimulate the minds and provide sincere overviews and perspectives of constructive idealism. Hoping all mariners and sea cucumbers will be on the lookout for this iceberg. Viva.

  3. The standard of service for aids to navigation in Malaysia is based on the IALA standard of availability (i.e 98% lighthouses and beacons and 97%-buoys. However, it is also important to gauge customers satisfaction (i.e mariners and seafarers). Some of the questions that can be asked are, for example;
    a) Is the aids to navigation in our waters sufficient?
    b) Are there any particular areas need to be improved?
    c) Does it meet all the customers expectations and requirements?
    d) Is there a limit to the service? If there is such limitation, what can be done to go beyond this limitation?
    The answers to all of these questions need be gathered from customers, an opportunity for them to give comments, feedbacks and suggestions. One of the suggestions to get the information is, besides asking masters and officers when their ships call at any Malaysian ports, is also getting the information from small boats, yachties, leisure boats, ship agents, sport fishing, people etc. It is also very important to measure customers satisfaction and expectations. Jogobana!!!!!

  4. Sorry geepin gotta put the facts correct:
    A. To ensure effectiveness of aids to navigation with respect to availability/reliability that meets the standards of International Association of Lighthouses Authorities (IALA) is as follows:-

    1. Category 1 – Lighthouses Availability of at least 99%
    2. Category 2 – Beacons Availability of at least 98%
    3. Category 3 – Light Bouys Availability of at least 97%

    B. To answer these pertinent questions, we should put in place certain probability/hypothesis/considerations:
    a) Is the aids to navigation in our waters sufficient?
    Sufficiency is subjective. In planning and placement of atons, objectivity is the main criteria. And this has to be based on analysis of the critical requirements for atons including the provision of supplementary atons. Apart from feedbacks from mariners, port users etc, the Mardep Navaids team should go on the ground to assess the present situation and to propose a revision or improvement.

    b) Are there any particular areas need to be improved?
    Of course shipping and navigational requirements evolve dramatically over the years and there should not be a stagnation of needs for safety and pollution concern. There are areas that need to be addressed based on trends of incidents, new maritime development areas, changes in marine topography, increase in maritime traffic etc etc. Therefore the needs for improvement are dynamic.

    c) Does it meet all the customers expectations and requirements?
    First of all the atons must meet the standards recommended by IALA. Secondly they must be available at the required places and position they are meant to be. Thirdly they must function effectively. When mariners and users feel confident and comfortable during their passage, their expectations have been met.
    d) Is there a limit to the service? If there is such limitation, what can be done to go beyond this limitation?
    Limitation is in the mind of the administrators only. If they expand their thoughts, open their minds, they have limitless ideas and innovations to provide the best and novel solutions for the safety of navigation in enhancing the business of shipping.

  5. sememangnya ilmu kelautan amat luas dan perlu pendedahan berterusan dari pelbagai pihak untuk kebaikan semua pihak.

    mungkin penglibatan lebih ramai warga pelaut akan memeriahkan lagi blog ini seterusnya baik untuk perkongsian maklumat.

    p.s i miss my sailing days ;)

    < VtsSupa >

  6. VtsSupa,

    Terima kasih diatas komen dan pandangan saudara. Sumbangan saudara untuk berkongsi ilmu di blog ini amat kami hargai. Saya harap saudara akan sentiasa menyumbangkan pandangan dan cadangan yang difikirkan boleh memantapkan pembangunan sektor perkapalan dan kelautan, supaya kita boleh berkongsi dan mencetuskan idea-idea yang baik. Ilmu datang dari pengalaman dan saya percaya saudara mempunyai pengetahuan pengalaman yang luas yang boleh dikongsi.

    Matlamat blog ini, ialah untuk mendapatkan pandangan semua pihak sebelum kami merumuskan satu dasar keselamatan perkapalan yang pratikal dan mudah dilaksanakan supaya apa yang dihasratkan dalam dasar ini akan tercapai dalam tempuh masa yang diinginkan.

  7. Dasar pengurusan keselamatan maritim shall be formulated in the Act of Parliament. If you think the current legislations are adequate, then your strategy is status quo, do nothing.

  8. Before any legislation can passed through parliament, a definitive policy must be in place. As current legislations vis-a-vis merchant shipping are not considered adequate to meet the fast changing world of shipping, there is a dire need to update and upgrade the present provisions as to facilitate the business of shipping. Everybody has to do something, even a small comment/suggestion will suffice to assist the maritime administrators in doing their job to formulate a most practical shipping safety management policy and hopefully in due course the relevant rules and regulations may be promulgated in the Merchant Shipping Act.

  9. 30th April 2010; Yesterday at IKMAL Presidential Lecture, Tun Mahathir Mohamad told a story of Awang, also known as Henrique the Black (a name given by his Portuguese captors), who accompanied Magellan in his voyages circumnavigated the world. Tun Mahathir wished that there are more stories like this, about great Malay sailors to inspire young Malaysians to sail. The ancient Malays were traditionally sailors moving between the southern seas of Malay Peninsula, Malay Archipelago and Borneo. The seafaring Malays were able to create the great empire of the Sultanate of Malacca and Johor-Riau.

    Because of their seafaring way of life, the Portuguese called them; “Saletes” (Orang Selat). When Tun Mahathir mentioned about the Malay pirates or lanun of the Strait of Malacca, maybe these pirates were the Orang Selat which Tun Mahathir also called them “Toll Collectors”. They were the highway men of the south seas who were simply collecting tolls from ships that sailed through their waters.

    It is true that we need to inspire the young Malaysians to follow the footsteps of their forefathers and look at seafaring as a career. If the good wages and good working conditions on ships do not appeal to them, then we have to go for their heart. It is passion that moves people and propel the ships.

  10. Ive been reading all these posts recently and it seems these rhetoric statements are insufficient. How else can we guarentee success of the "Go to Sea" campaign ? There has to be an effective plan to support any efforts to encourage young people to go to sea. What are the actions needed should there be a sudden surge of demand for training, officers and ratings? Is ALAM the only establishment available to handle the production of qualified foreign going merchant sailors and has it not become more of a "company school" (As hard has it may be to admit)..

    I have friends who are keen to enroll in ALAM for officers and engineers courses but fail to get sponsors and we all know without sponsors trying to obtain training berths on ships is almost impossible.Not all shipping companies are willing to provide berths for cadets and this limits the capacity for training of new officers.

    Presently,I see only Jabatan Laut,one or two universities and ALAM making efforts to promote career at sea.Five years ago,when I was still a deck cadet I attended a career talk held in conjunction of World Maritime day and people were talking about sea career, the possible career path and potential employment.However all this doesnt seem enough.

    The entire aspect of seafarer training infrastructure has to be looked at and above all else is making maritime training accessible to those intrested.Malaysian ship owners should spear the attack and help out in providing sea training to young Malaysians who want to go to sea, working in tandem with the government administrators and maritime training institutions. Otherwise,Malaysian ships will continue to be manned by non-Malaysians and all we'll probably be able to do is complain blindly...

  11. Nazir Hays - The exposure of the seafaring career does not appealing to most of the younger generations in M'sia. Even if it does, the perspective of the general public that seafaring career is dangerous, and being branded as men with loose moral might hamper the parents whom does not encourage their son to choose this career.
    The average malaysian as seafarer career is short span, some suggest up to 35 yrs old, where he/(she?) might be looking for shore-based jobs. This is one of the reason why shipping co. (whom provide scholarship) having difficult time of keeping their human asset. This leads to the shipping company having preference to non-malaysian seafarers. While foreign seafarers can stand up to 12-18 mths on board ship, M'sian seafarers might jump ship or sometimes creates havoc in order to attract attention from the shipping co. to sign off.
    With abundance of onshore job-prospect in Malaysia, one does not need to guess why curently we're facing shortage of seafarers here.

  12. Sir,
    Assalamualaikum and salam sejahtera.
    It is good to have such a mechanism to share maritime issues with the industry especially with our administrator (the Jabatan Laut).
    For over 30 years, I was part of the maritime issues and was part of MISC, Tuah Tankers, Nepline, Naval ship yard, Sapura crest, Semua shipping, Pelorus academy, Pelita academy, Myous maritime, Sublime engineering, and Silver line. Today, I am with the Malaysia Maritime Association (MMA) and we are with five thousand seaman card holders as our member.
    I have observed cyclical of unintentional and accidental deficiencies and shortcomings practiced in our industry. The training institutions, the seafarers, the ship owners, the managers, the support services, the vendors, the associations, the enforcements, the administrators, basically every interests related to the maritime trades are grumbling over their team performances after all the immeasurable initiatives.
    The checklists, the routine process and procedures, the regulations, the educations, the trainings, the round table, the incentives, the promotions, the rebranding, the penalties, the billion of ringgits and the control, we have done it all, nonetheless as a team we all know our indicator is just below standard. Some of us may be bragging over individual trophy.
    The boss wishes was for the company to make tons of money, and so is every body from the employees to the seafarers; and the services providers to the administrators. Why not if all of us are paid higher and the boss NET profit are also higher? Why not our pay is equivalent to the best paid people of the world? (Is it because we do not like to see our young captains to earn more than us?)
    Theoretically if we homed or treated our employees in a substandard environment than the chances of top notch performances will be a difficult task. Therefore the most popular saying, “you pay peanuts you get monkeys” succeeded.
    The maritime world top performances are paying in Pound-wise, and we are paying in penny-wise. Country’s Billions of Ringgit have been earned by non-Malaysian seafarers. Thousands of Trade Exemptions and Certificate of Recognition have to be issued on courteousness.
    Per year, less than 500 from 27 millions Malaysian were given the placement in 18 approved maritime training and education institutions. Malaysian Seafarers have to take out from their pocket to bare the high cost of education, training, certifications, medical check ups, registrations, seaman card, passport and repatriations. This cost may be as high as RM 500 to RM 2000 a month.
    Ship Owners are force to acquire their new buildings and assets as a must be the cheapest, fastest, easiest and quickest approaches. The crewing managers are acquiring their seafarers services as a must be cheapest but must posses the GOOD ATTITUDE as a competency. The charter hires rates are at a point that causes many ship owners to net marginal profit.

  13. Our administrators…well you have heard it all, I stay reserved. However my issue is about our professionalism as a seafarers, and majority of us wanted to sail and make the ship board services be our continuing career. It is true especially after the decade recessions, many officers and engineers wanted very much to go back to seas (Some done it already). Everyone will love the one month on one month off schedule.
    Our seafarers wanted and in need of professional encouragements from the Menteri, Administrators, ship owners, NGOs, and every father and mother, basically. Without which only a handful will survived the challenging life at seas. Today the beautiful days of a seafarer is gone and replaced with titanic chain of regulations, tasks, restrictions, confinements, blames and expenses.
    Truly less than 0.05% or 13, 000 of 27 millions Malaysian are qualified to go to sea or having basic maritime knowledge. Is this profession a taboo, forbidden or confined for Malaysian? Why do we say that Malaysian do not preferred the sea life when we are smacking their heads so hard and then hiding our hand? (Siapa makan chili hah merah muka, saya acah jee)
    On our maritime table the issues of welfare, safety, environment, and health; we look so serious about them yet many when to sea without proper training and education. We all seen many maritime operators even their supervisors are without appropriate certification. Even some enforcement officers themselves are without appropriate certificates of competency.
    For example, the handling of passenger at our sea terminals was overlook. Are every of our passenger terminal operators with appropriate crisis management knowledge? Many blame the others on corruptions, sabotaging, stabbings and wrongdoing in business but the mere facts were we all are lacking of the tangible KNOWLEDGE.
    Our pilots, our ports, our registered ships, our business, our investments, our administration, our services, etc are under the merciful of the seas. Working hours are compromised; Industrial operators and managers are less than certified. As the institutions are trying they very best to break even; employees standard of qualification are compromised. As Budget is the main agenda so matters related to performances becomes secondary measures.
    Training and educations are eating up many ship owners and industry revenues. Nevertheless there should be no shortcut in this field. TRAINING SHIP CONCEPT IS OVER DUE. I simply look at Jabatan Laut as the WILL and shall spearhead this project to ensure sufficient Malaysians are with proper knowledge and qualification to work at or near the seas.
    The needs of a training ship that will produce future (One Malaysia) innovative-executives for our industry, administration and enforcement institution is an essential and non debatable issue, to make a gigantic step ahead.
    Education grant should be allocated to train and educate more officers and engineers. We should offer assistance to our seaman that wanted to upgrade their competencies. By helping these seafarers, we

  14. are actually helping many ship owner, terminals, and administrators to earn sufficient and qualified workforces and definitely Malaysian. Further Malaysia will gain significantly and monetarily.
    I proposed a training and education scholarship of RM 5 millions per month shall be immediately allocated to Malaysian seafarers who wanted to further their certificate of competency. And as immediate as yesterday another one time allocation of RM 10 millions to maritime training and education centers to ensure sufficient equipments are available for this esteem project. (What is 5 millions, if we compare with new projects worth millions then question who will operate it)
    I proposed Jabatan Laut (ILPPPL) should spearhead this project and further enforce all those profession related to maritime be with appropriate competency, eg marine hydrographic, laws, claims, insurances, owners, superintendents, chartering, brokerage. Yes we all know our job very well but why not are better for the country and the people.
    I wonder much though if we are in the right lane, “the lane of our country vision and mission”.
    MAY I RECOMMEND a simple course like Basic Safety Training to every Malaysian youth. Get all the youth even the girls to be Masters and Chief Engineers of the seas, I say. There are tenth of thousand of vacancies in not only onboard merchant ships but in our enforcement, port management and oil and gas sectors. Above is not a trophy but known by all…..
    I remain with thousand apologies on my small contribution for the country. Do not look down on association work as it is the fundamental of a civilization.

  15. The truth is out there..... X-files.

  16. healthy food for thought. the reality is real. come january 2011 the national maritime conference shud invite mr sapuan to promote his ideas of 30 years of wisdom and to chart the route forward for maritime excellence. his proposals shud act as a catalyst for administrators to diligently spearhead the "go to sea" campaign promoted by imo. if presently we have only 20000 registered seamen as compared to 26 million population where more than 85% of our goods are carried by sea, and where we are still dependent on foreign crews to man our ship, then the govt shud develop a 15 year plan to create 50000 seamen boys and girls not only to man our ships but to man foreign ships. hopefully in next year budget our pm najib will not miss in granting i. grants for approved maritime training institutions ii. scholarships/dermasiswa/interestfree study loans/sponsorship or what not to encourage young malaysians to go to sea iii. new policy for locals to man malaysian ships iv. special seamen allowance for those who go to sea with a higher revised pay scheme and controlled by the govt v. etc etc. i wud even suggest malaysia maritime association to organised a national seminar to raise these issues in early 2011. gracias.

  17. RanTing :

    Blog ni kurang meriah dan mendapat sambutan.Jabatan Laut pun sama halnya dalam bab publisiti sehingga tidak dikenali oleh kebanyakan rakyat.Adakah inisiatif dr pihak pengurusan untuk mempromosikan jabatan ini?

  18. ada lagi tak tuan...lama tidak update blog?