New activities law

SHIPS operating in Malaysian territorial waters will have to inform the Director of Marine of their activities under proposed amendments to the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 tabled in Malaysia's parliament last week.

The Merchant Shipping (Amendment) Bill was submitted by Deputy Transport Minister Datin Paduka Zaleha Ismail for first reading.

The Bill defines the activities as ''dredging, mining (including exploration and exploitation), cable and pipe laying, marine construction (including construction of jetties and wharves), dumping of any material, sports, leisure or recreational activity, survey, cleaning (including cleaning of cargo tanks), transportation, discharging or loading of wastes or pilotage.

The marine director will be empowered to impose fees or terms and conditions as he thinks fit on the activities.

The Bill also seeks to allow the Government to recover as a civil debt the cost of holding any ship or equipment in its custody for violation of the new provisions.

However, the marine director will be permitted to compound any offence under the ordinance.

The Road Transport (Amendment) Bill and Price Control (Amendment) Bill also has been tabled for first readings.