The separatist Abu Sayaaf Group (ASG) has returned to kidnapping crew from vessels in the Sulu – Celebes Sea with two successful attacks in recent months.

Maersk Line's intra-Asia and feeder arm MCC Transport is launching a new service connecting East Malaysia with China and South Korea.

Barakah Offshore Petroleum is making further inroads into the Sarawak oil and gas (O&G) market with its unit, PBJV Group sealing a deal to work with Sarawak-based parties on projects in the state.

Perhaps stung into action by the imminent lifting of Malaysian cabotage restrictions, domestic-focussed lines Shin Yang Shipping and Harbour-Link have teamed up with MMC Ports unit and major west coast hub port operator Northport to form a strategic alliance.

Sarawak's oldest yard, Brooke Dockyard and Engineering Works Corp, fresh from major Petronas contracts, is building on the momentum and has tripled its fabrication capacity for oil and gas offshore modules with the development of a second fabrication yard.

MMC Corp continues to expand its ports empire in Malaysia, confirming an earlier news report that it was in talks on acquiring a stake in Sabah Ports from Suria Capital Holdings.

The Malaysia Shipowners Association (Masa) has belatedly chimed in with a reaction to the exemption of cabotage policy which kicked in at the beginning of this month.

The removal of Malaysia's 30-year-old cabotage policy for Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan has been slammed by local shipping lines as disastrous for the industry and a political tool to gain votes while likely to have little effect on its stated purpose of reducing the high cost of consumer goods in the three territories to the east of Peninsular Malaysia.

Malaysia is abolishing its 30-year old cabotage law between the east and west of the country from 1 June.

Bintulu Port Holdings is developing as a offshore supply base, having secured contracts from major oil and gas (O&G) companies.

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