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‘BN in a state of denial over Penang port’

 | May 29, 2012

The Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman has said the port will be privatised while the Penang Port Sdn Bhd chief said the government is still deciding on it.

GEORGE TOWN: The DAP has called on the Barisan Nasional state chief Teng Chang Yeow to come out in the open on the status of the Penang port.

Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow wants to know once and for all if the Putrajaya administration had decided to privatise the port operations to Seaport Terminal (Johor) Sdn Bhd owned by tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary Syed Mokhtar.

Chow said the Penang Port Commission (PPC) chairman Chua Soi Lek, port operations Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) supremo Dr Hilmi Yahaya and Teng are telling different stories.

Chua has gone on record as saying the port will be privatised while Hilmi told newsmen yesterday that the proposal to privatise Penang Port was still under the federal perusal.

“The prime minister has not decided on it yet,” said Hilmi.

Chow said that Teng should work together with the state government to save Penang’s port and its economy.

Chow urged Teng to stop his denial syndrome and help protect the interests of the Penang people.

“He should stop the privatisation,” Chow said in a statement here today.

DAP parliamentarians – Tanjung’s Chow, Bukit Bendera’s Liew Chin Tong and Bukit Mertajam’s Chong Eng – have all questioned whether there was a conspiracy to stifle the state economic growth through privatisation of the port.

But, Chow claimed, that Teng seems only keen to restore Penang’s free port status (FPS) and did not want to respond to the privatisation project.

He also warned that privatisation will turn Penang port, once a major regional port during colonial era, into a mere feeder port which would stifle the state economic growth.

He said the Finance Minister Incorporated (Mof In) has decided to privatise its ownership of PPSB to Seaport Terminal under the second phase privatisation of Mof subsidiaries.

Chow said the federal Cabinet has endorsed the privatisation on Nov 25, 2011.

On March 29 this year, he said the finance ministry confirmed that Seaport Terminal was initiating a due diligence process on PPSB while in the final laps of sealing a sales and purchase agreement with Mof Inc.


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