Sunday, October 11, 2009

Port Klang Authority working to diversify income stream

PORT Klang Authority (PKA) is working towards diversifying its income stream in an effort to bear the costs of running both Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) and its own operations.

"Of course, now we are currently self-sufficient, but with the PKFZ loan to the service, we will have to come up with more revenue streams to generate income," PKA general manager Kee Lian Yong told Business Times recently.

He was appointed in June to replace Lim Thean Shiang, who resigned earlier amid reports of a fallout with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat over the handling of the PKFZ controversy.

Lim was handpicked to take over the running of the port by the Transport Minister.

Kee, like Lim, was a member of the corporate sector, having headed listed companies such as Metroplex and Anglo-Eastern Plantations Plc.

He said the port authority is studying all options, but is mindful of its main role as trade facilitator.

"We believe there are a lot of opportunities. I would like to do more. As a man from the property sector, I can see that we have a lot of land here, and we have to look at how we can maximise the returns on that land," Lee said.

He said rather than just concentrating on growing its bottomline, the port authority has to also consider initiatives that will enable the industry to grow.

Kee declined to reveal the amount of cash that PKA has in its coffers, claiming that its cash reserves did not correctly reflect the financial health of the regulator, considering its huge debts, because of PKFZ.

In 2008, it was reported that PKA's main income comes from leasing of land under the port authority. The then general manager Datin O C Phang, had said that it made RM100 million per year.

Expenses on maintaining the port area, however, were said to come up to about RM80 million per year.

On his ambition for the port, Kee said he wants to create an equitable playing field for all players in the port industry.

"I don't want to sideline any party. In fact I hope that we can build a supply chain that benefits everybody, and also promote the growth of the port industry," Kee said.

Source: Business Times

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