SHAH ALAM, 29 May 2009: Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat says that any measure taken to address problems relating to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) will be done in the best interest of the people, even if it affects his own political career.
“I am going to unfold (all the strategies and queries relating to the audit report on the PKFZ) one after another. I have been cautiously optimistic about the matter because through my personal experience and some observational studies conducted by potential investors, I think by and large people believe that this (PKFZ) itself is a viable project.
“So, we have to make the project work in the best interest of the people. Don’t forget that when we talk about a soft loan, the soft loan comes from the people, who are the tax payers of the country,” said Ong to reporters after visiting Kumpulan Karangkraf Sdn Bhd, near here, today.
The audit report on PKFZ by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) was posted in its entirety on the Port Klang Authority (PKA) website yesterday.
The cost of the project had risen to RM7.453 billion, including interest, compared with its original price tag of RM1.957 billion.
The audit report entitled “Position Review of Port Klang Free Zone Project and Port Klang Free Zone Sdn Bhd” noted that the cost of the project, excluding interest, was at RM3.522 billion.
Investigation into the 405-hectare PKFZ trans-shipment hub was initiated after it was revealed that its development cost jumped from below RM2.5 billion to RM4.6 billion.
DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang in his statement today said that PKA had incurred losses and the government should do the necessary even if it meant liquidating it (PKA) since the PwC report indicated PKA would not be able to break even in the near future.
To this, Ong said: “Lim is entitled to his own opinion. As far as I am concerned, we have been going through months of brainstorming on the way forward and not just focusing on the report or investigations alone.”
He also said that the time was ripe for PKA to engage financial and legal consultants to do the necessary ‘cleaning-up’ and restructuring of the financial obligations of PKA.
“I believe that by doing so, only then can we move forward with a clean slate,” he added. — Bernama