My sources tell me that Lim Thean Shiang (photo), the young general manager of Klang Port Authority (KPA) who took over from the controversial O.C. Phang barely a year ago, has tendered his resignation to the KPA board. A lawyer by training, Lim is also executive chairman of KPA subsidiary Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) Sdn Bhd. But unlike former transport minister Chan Kong Choy, I bet his hasty departure cannot be because of "health reasons" but certainly over the RM12 billion PKFZ scandal which has necessitated a government bailout.
I believe PKFZ will feature prominently in tomorrow's cabinet meeting. As such, I wouldnt be surprised if no action will be taken and more excuses be found to further delay or even stop the release of the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit report in its entirety to the general public. PwC has asked KPA for indemnification of the report and this seems pretty reasonable to me under the circumstances.
It is believed that the PwC audit has uncovered practices contrary to rules and regulations, gross abuse of power, conflicts of interest, no accountability or transparency etc. etc. The culprits allegedly include politicians, members of the KPA and PKFZ boards (which unfortunately include my former boss Gnanalingam of Westport who was a member of both!) and also the then Minister of Transport.
It boggles the mind that the KPA board apparently was unaware of the agreements to form a subsidiary company for the land purchase! Neither was it aware of "corporate advisory services" for the 405-hectare PKFZ project until it was handed a RM130 million bill by a local consultancy firm recently.
Now dammit sirs, this isnt funny.
Other sources have also informed me that independent quantity surveyors have confirmed that the cost for the 4-star hotel in PKFZ should only be RM50 million instead of the RM90 million claimed by the contractor.
There is also a major dispute between TNB and KPA over the building of a sub station in PKFZ costing many RM millions. It seems that TNB has refused to cooperate, claiming that it should be only for less than half the cost!
Pray tell, what the bloody hell is going on here?
In view of all the above, I would like to urge the government to release the PwC audit report immediately, including all the appendices. I would also strongly recommend that steps are taken to initiate criminal and civil proceedings for breach of trust and to recover costs against all those responsible for this shameful episode.
Anything less would be simply unacceptable.
UPDATE on Wednesday May 20, 2009 at 0930hrs:
Read also the report from today's the Sun, here.
(Photo source: Business Times)