May 15 - Effective June 1, 2017, the government of Malaysia will abolish its cabotage restrictions on routes between East Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak and Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan).

So far, domestic shipping services that link Peninsular Malaysia with East Malaysia have been operated exclusively with Malaysian-flagged vessels.

The cabotage policy that governs maritime transport between Peninsular Malaysia with East Malaysia was introduced in 1980. However, Kuala Lumpur has subscribed to claims from industry and local communities that point out the system leads to refraining competition, being responsible for the existing high freight rates.

At present both foreign and Malaysian ships are allowed to discharge cargo at any port, but only Malaysia-registered vessels can ply the domestic routes.