Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mayday for Port Klang

Malaysiakini reported yesterday that "the cabinet has ordered the chief secretary to investigate whether the transport ministry had wrongly issued a letter of support to a private developer to enable the latter to raise funds for the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ)" in Pulau Indah, a project which was undertaken by the Klang Port Authority (KPA).

Many of my ex colleagues and I, former employees of the KPA have served for many years at low salaries so that the port can accumulate healthy reserves of about RM500 milion about ten years ago. We are indeed most distressed to learn that the port is now hugely in debt to the tune of almost RM 5 billion !

PKFZ Authority HQ

The PKFZ was started some time ago and was supposed to draw investments by the billions to make Port Klang the biggest free trade zone in the region. The Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) in Dubai was roped in to provide management expertise but alarm bells began to ring early this year when its rep Noel Gulliver left and there was no replacement. Despite vague assurances by the port that it was just temporary, the JAFZA officially pulled out last week leaving the port up the creek without a paddle.

Questions are now being raised on the billions of ringgit in cost over-run and dubious land deals. A lot of money has already changed hands but the last time I visited PKFZ a few months ago, it looked like a ghost town. There was hardly any activity and even the approach roads were still in a mess.

Who approved the deals and who is going to be accountable for the massive cost over-run?

Will the Auditor General use his powers to conduct an audit and tell the rakyat how this cock-up was allowed to happen?

Now that the port is in huge debt and bordering on insolvency, is the scene set for another bail-out?

Why was the port authority involved in such a mega project, when the government policy is to have more port operations to be privatised?

Was there any proper study done to find out whether free zones will still be relevant in the near future?

Questions, questions and in the meantime we wait with bated breath.


  1. I wonder if this is considered 'sensitive'? I don't even remember reading something about a JV with Jebel Ali!
    So whose head will it be? Chopping them is simply not good enough, cos all the RM has disappeared!
    I go to Port quite often, and I must say, it is rather shabbily kept!

  2. Captain...

    Something fishy here, maybe you are right: Setting the scene for another massive bail-out. These so-called "leaders" we got, living in the HERE and NOW. Our children will have to pay for the sins of their fathers... The sad thing, there is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING we can do about it....

    Buek abih boreh ajo...

    Salaam, Bang.

  3. Hi Tony:

    Mat Salo:

    Daylight robbery involving local politicians, I believe. Hopefully the AG report will be out soon.

  4. Can you believe this? A company Kuala Dimensi headed by a politician buys land for a 100 mill ringgit then sells the land to Port Klang for 1 billion ringgit. Port Klang then gave the same company, Kuala Dimensi, contract to developed the land. The total contract given without tender is worth 3.6 billion given out to the same company Kuala Dimensi. The project is now a failure and the goverment has to pay back the loan taken by port klang without goverment approval in the first place.In other words we the public are paying $ 4.6 billion ringgit whilst people in Port Klang and Ministry of Transport can now retire happily ever after.

  5. Poor LPK .... maybe this is the reason why the port operators association is worried about the formation of national port authority.

  6. anon:


    I represented Westport during the formation of the private port operators assn. 10 years ago.

    Obviously, other ports must now be worried they may have to share the burden if a national ports authority is set up.... just the right convenient vehicle for a bail-out, eh?

    Even Westport didnt cost so much da ..

  7. Definitely a scoop by an old sea salt. Bravo captain....that calls for downing a few. Robbery on the high seas? Them bucanners (no this is too glamorous a term)...these pirates have food terra firma footing in our hallowed hall that is parliament. Honestly Capt. we need to get them and then make them walk the plank!

  8. Captain, your post on this suject with more details is in the Sun paper today 26 August pg 25. Good exposure, great stuff captain

  9. zorro:


    many thanks for the feedback.

  10. Captain, to make sure you remain pissed and want to strangle the top guys at Ministry of Transport, let me give some more juicy details.
    In order to connect power cable about 20 km to the PKFZ site Kuala Dimensi charged $500 mill for this job. Port Klang further awarded Kuala Dimensi to build 2ooo lots of covered car parks, a 4 star hotel and office building at a area where nobody is working.A road was build to connect to West Port at an inflated price of over $3oo million. All these led from an overpriced land of $1 bill to the cost balloning to $4.6 billion ringgit. Surely the chieftains at port klang and Ministry of Transport has a lot to answer.
    What saddens us is $4.6 billion fiasco is not carried in the main papers but bloggers being condemned captures the headline.
    I am not pissed Captain, but I am sad and I cry for my country. This is what we got to show after 50 years of independence.

  11. Captain

    why dont you disseminate this daylight rape of the country's financial resources to your contemporaries and ex-colleagues? Let them share your pain.
    It pains me too to see such financial raping; yet in today's headlines a family of 5 perished in a fire resulting from their inability to pay for electricity. Sad day isnt it?

  12. anon:

    many thanks. many of them are following this blog and altho they do not make any comments here we do keep in touch by other means.


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