BN Government ‘Hides’ Privatisation of Penang Port

SHAH ALAM, 22 Apr: The BN Government was not transparent when they privatised the Penang Port in secret in an agreement signed on 23 November last year with one of the companies owned by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.

The Member of Parliament for Bayan Baru, Sim Tze Tzin, said that the company known as Seaport Terminal (Johore) Sdn Bhd is certified as the bidder for the proposed privatisation of Penang Port through equity ownership in Penang Port Sdn Bhd.

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He said that the move is a surprise because there was no public statement published for the public.

“Does the BN Government want to hide something? Is the government afraid of people knowing of another strategic national asset has been privatised? And that the winner is once again (Tan Sri) Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary?

“When such an important asset is privatised, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport are responsible to explain to the people why it is privatised, what is the direction and planning for the future,” he said in a press statement.

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Sim said that what is more sad is that the privatisation was made through a limited tender when it was critised by the former President of Transparency International, Datuk Paul Low, who described that the privatisation move violates the rules of good and transparent governance.

Low has also said to Seaport that without a competitive open tender, it shows that the Federal Government has never practiced what was proposed regarding accountability and fighting corruption.

“Penang Barisan Nasional, led by Teng Chang Yeow, also objected to the privatisation of Penang Port.

“The question now is why the federal government stubbornly continued the privatisation with a limited tender even when it was strongly opposed by the Penang BN, the Penang Government, unions, logistics operators, chambers of commerce and non-governmental organisations (NGO)?” he added.

In the meantime, he added that one after another strategic national assets are falling into Syed Mokhtar’s hands, among them being Proton Holdings Bhd, Pos Malaysia, Bernas, Puspakom, Central Sugar Refinery and many more.

“With all the mystery arising from the privatisation of Penang Port, I urged the Prime Minister and the Minister of Transport to make public all the details of this privatisation immediately.

“It is so that Malaysians can believe that the Government is honest and is not pawning the people in this privatisation process,” he said.

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