Friday, July 30, 2010

The PKFZ saga began 8 yrs ago

KUALA LUMPUR: The saga of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal began in 2002 when Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) and the Port Klang Authority (PKA) signed a RM1.09 billion deal for 404ha of land in Pulau Indah.
A year later PKA appointed KDSB to develop PKFZ on the land for an estimated RM1.32 billion.

Then in 2005, PKA and KDSB signed a supplemental agreement for additional development work that included a business-class hotel for RM510.38 million

However, in August 2007, Dubai-based Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza), which was to manage PKFZ, pulled out citing "strategic purposes".

A month later, a local newspaper published correspondence between Jafza and PKFZ indicating the pullout was due to several reasons, including red tape, bureaucracy, interference by politicians and those with vested interests.

Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who was prime minister at the time, asked then transport minister Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy to explain why Jafza's concerns were not entertained.

It later emerged that the Transport Ministry had issued four "letters of support" between 2003 and 2006, which were used by the turnkey contractor KDSB to raise bonds and get an AAA rating from the Malaysia Rating Corporation Bhd.

It was then revealed that the documents were in fact, letters of guarantee, which only the Treasury could issue.

PKA general manager Datin Paduka Phang Oi Choo and officials from the Transport Ministry appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which deemed the explanation of the project's financing unsatisfactory.

Last year, the PAC investigated the going-ons at the PKFZ after PKA's new chairman, Datuk Lee Hwa Beng, lodged a police report in August alleging possible fraud amounting to RM1.5 billion.

The PAC found three letters of support and undertaking as an implicit government guarantee that PKA would be allowed to fulfil its obligations under the PKFZ development agreement.

They concluded that former transport minister Chan and Phang must be investigated as the letters were issued by them without approval from the Finance Ministry.

Then in November last year, the PAC recommended that the police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigate Chan and Phang in connection with the project.

Discrepancies over PKFZ's development were uncovered by a task force setup by the Transport Ministry -- comprising lawyers, accountants, quantity surveyors and building cost consultants from professional firms -- following an audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Read more: The PKFZ saga began 8 years ago

p/s: what else to say when a leader who suppose to carry resposibility to the country itself is a corrupt man...let the court hold the trial and hoping for a fair justice..

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