With the complete embargo on news about the PKFZ by government controlled newspapers, the Sun reported yesterday that the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will call for a hearing on the debacle. It quoted the chairman Datuk Shahrir Samad who said that news reports about the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) has raised serious questions. PAC will look into two concerns:
> Will it involve any government bailout; and
> Will it affect foreign investors' confidence in other projects in Malaysia, like the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) in Johor and other developments?
"The IDR encourages domestic and foreign investments. Although the IDR is not a free zone, I am worried some foreign investors might pull out following the fallout (between JAFZA and PKA)," Shahrir told the Sun. It is interesting to note that a total of RM4.3 billion under the Ninth Malaysia Plan has been allocated to develop the infrastructure and facilities for the IDR, while RM4.6 billion has already been spent on the PKFZ with nothing much to show.
(By coincidence, Shahrir Samad was one year my junior and my younger brother Kassim's classmate at MCKK. His PAC vice chairman, DAP's Dr Tan Seng Giaw also happens to be my regular early morning walk companion at a public park near where I live. Perhaps apologies are in order for this rather shameless and constant name dropping on my part, but what the heck, I reckon I might as well tap on my 'old boy' network if this can get things moving ...)
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