SHAH ALAM, 8 July 2009: Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim today said there had not been any proof that showed there had been any irregularities in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.
He said it was his opinion that what happened was that the Port Klang Authority (PKA) was not experienced in managing the free zone and needed to be responsible for the investments made.
“We can say there were irregularities if there is proof, but … I feel the PKA is not good in business,” he said when replying to a supplementary question by Dr Shafie Abu Bakar (PAS-Bangi) during the state assembly here today on whether there was an element of corruption in the project, where cost of construction may go up to RM12.5 billion from the original cost of RM2 billion.
Khalid said rather than have some quarters look for wrongdoings in the viability of the project, it was better for the federal government to provide a loan to PKA to fund the project and write off the current owings to reduce losses.
He said if the cost including interest rose to RM12 billion, PKA had to have profits of almost RM1.2 billion a year to get returns of 10% annually to pay off the owings and meet operating costs. That was difficult to achieve, he said, based on his previous experience at the helm of Kumpulan Guthrie.
However, Khalid said, if the federal government wrote off the current owings for the project cost of RM3 billion with a target of getting a 10% profit of RM300 million a year, it was a projection that was realistically achevable by PKFZ.
Khalid also said the state government was ready to help PKFZ to attract investment, and hoped that the state’s executive councillors were accepted as PKA board members, as currently only senior state government officers were reprentatives. — Bernama