NST, Sep 7 - A MEETING between the Public Accounts Committee and Port Klang Authority (PKA) officials has raised more questions than answers.
"The problem with the Port Klang Free Zone is far bigger than what the papers have reported," he said yesterday.
"Far too many questions were left unanswered."
When asked whether he was satisfied with the discussion, Shahrir said: "Look at us (the committee members). You can see from our body language that we are not."
The project first raised eyebrows when PKA bought 405ha in Pulau Indah in 2002 for RM1.088 billion, or RM25 per sq ft, from Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd. The land purchase was followed by RM1.845 billion in costs for the development of the free trade zone.
In July, port operator Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (Jafza) withdrew from a contract to manage PKFZ.
Last month, the Transport Ministry said the government had agreed to extend a loan of an unspecified amount to the heavily-indebted PKA to help cover the total cost which had ballooned to RM4.6 billion, including interest and other charges.
Shahrir referred to the auditor-general’s report on PKA for the 2005 financial year, showing PKA’s liquid assets to be inadequate in financing its capital obligations.
"According to the report, PKA’s liquidity as of December 2005 was RM231.75 million, while the tax surplus was RM26.63 million, so PKA would need additional financing to meet its capital obligations of RM4.11 billion."
Those present at the meeting included PKA general manager Datin Paduka O.C. Phang and Transport Ministry secretary-general Datuk Zakaria Bahari.