TEMPO Interactive, Batam: The Business Agency of Batam was asked to open small ports to support deliveries to islands within Batam. The establishment of Batam as a free-trade zone had rendered small ports inoperable. As a result, people in remote islands have had difficulties obtaining their daily needs.
"Small ports are urgently needed,” said Institute of Global Justice Coordinator Eddy Burmansyah to Tempo yesterday. According to him, Government Decree No. 2/ 2009 of entry and exit surveillance from inside and outside of the trade area and free trade ports had caused only three of the ports to be operational. The three ports are Batu Ampar, Sekupang and Kabil.
Eddy also said that the original concept of the free trade area is good incentive to investors. However, there are still many problems arising in its practice.
Therefore, he suggested revisions for the rules regarding
free trade territory. “It’s imperative for the people to have their share of benefits from the free trade, not the other way around,” said Eddy.
Naval Security Chief of Batam City’s Sea Transportation Service, Failasuf, said that his office had proposed six location points for the small ports, which are located around Batu ampar, Sijantung (Rempang) Telaga Punggur,
Kabil, Tanjung Riau, and Sagulung.
According to Failasuf, the proposal had been forwarded to the Batam Business Agency and Territorial Council. From there, it will be carried on to the Transportation Minister for approval.
The head of Batam Loading Worker’s Cooperative Shahrizal Harun said 900 port workers would lose their jobs if the small ports failed to open. “No small port means lots of unemployment,” said Syahrizal yesterday.