Wednesday, October 13, 2010

give seamen their due

give seamen their due

I refer to an article "Local seaman not up to the mark" in one of the THE STAR MARITIME section which will project a negative image of Malaysian seamen in the minds of our family and friends.

The reason not many Malaysians sail is because the country's economic state is strong (used to) and there are many job opportunities ashore where people can have better quality time with their families.

The reason why the Philippines and India have ample manpower at sea is due to their poor economy and the difficulty in getting employment ashore. Both of these countries also have a big population.

The general statement that Malaysian crew are lazy is nowhere near accurate and very unfair to the seamen's community in Malaysia

If you read the papers of have any idea about oil and gas, you would know that our national shipping line (MISC Berhad) which owned by Petronas is currently the world largest LNG tanker operator and 95% of men who run these ships are so-called lazy Malaysian seamen.

We do our job with the great deal of national pride. Our ships ply with the globe, and if everyone were lazy, these ships would have a very slim chance of passing any Port State Control, United States Coast Guard (USCG) or vetting inspections which are of very high standard.

The mere fact that our ships are trading smoothly around the world is evidence enough that we are of international standard.

In today's world, everything is fast. Ships load and discharge their cargo within 24hours, sailors rarely have the chance to sightsee, what more get drunk and then get into fights. When they get back on the ship they have to be ready for the next voyage.

In every basket there will be a few spoilt apples. it is surprising why when a small fraction of seamen cause some trouble at a pub, the world looks at it like it was a big deal, blows it out with proportion and comes up with general statements like all seamen get in brawls at pubs.

Does it mean that no accountants or engineers get drink and cause trouble?

The article also mentions that CEO of ALAM would like to encourage more Malaysian students to join the academy, but after being misled by the article, i wonder how many parents are going to allow their beloved sons and daughters to get involved in such a bad career.

Every day, tonnes of goods are being imported and exported from our shores by sea. But people never appreciate seamen.

The next time you put fuel into your car, think about how the fuel got there, the next time you eat bread, and think about where the flour came from.

These sailors are out at sea facing gale force winds and waves as high as buildings to bring cargo in and out of our country and also around the world.

Our job is a noble one that not many might have the courage to do.

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