Thursday, April 9, 2009

'Up to Port Klang Authority to release findings on PKFZ'

THE onus is now on the Port Klang Authority (PKA) to release the long-awaited findings of a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audit on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

Manager Port Klang Free Zone Sdn Bhd had engaged the services of PwC last year to conduct an independent overall audit on the accounts of the PKFZ project after a public outcry over the RM4.6 billion "soft loan" given by the government.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the audit had been completed and it was now up to PKA, which owns PKFZ, to release the findings.

"Prior to this, we need to seek reclassification of certain documents relevant to the investigation. The critics wouldn't know. They just want to question why, when and what," he told reporters after launching the MCA Job Fair in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

On when the findings would be made public, the minister said that it was "solely at the discretion of PKA" as the authority had engaged PwC's services.

Asked whether he would give a directive to PKA to release the findings, Ong said: "Ask them (PKA)."

The PKFZ project first raised eyebrows when PKA bought 405ha on Pulau Indah in 2002 for RM1.088 billion, or RM25 per sq ft, from Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd.

Kuala Dimensi had bought the undeveloped property in 1999 from a local cooperative for RM95 million, or RM3 per sq ft.

PKA's land purchase was followed by RM1.845 billion in development costs for the free trade zone.

The government later agreed to extend a loan of an unspecified amount to the heavily-indebted PKA to help cover the total cost of PKFZ, which had ballooned to RM4.6 billion, including interest and other charges.

Late last year, PKFZ executive chairman Lim Thean Shiang had said that the price of the land bought from Kuala Dimensi was reasonable as it included the infrastructure and had taken into account the holding period.

The cost-analysis study by PwC will help decide whether the government paid too much for the land.

PKFZ is the government's biggest investment in the port industry since 1990.

Source: Business Times


Elsewhere it is reported thus:

THE Port Klang Authority (PKA) expects to release the findings of PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) cost-analysis study on the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) by month-end, its general manager said.

PKA general manager Lim Thean Shiang said that while it was true the report had been done, PwC had yet to hand it over to the port authority.

The audit firm is awaiting the declassification of certain documents protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

" ... because PwC signed a privacy agreement, they were allowed to view the documents under the Act, but in order for the study to go public, we need to declassify the documents," Lim told Business Times in a phone interview.

Source: Business Times

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