The Port Klang Authority (PKA) will undertake a house-cleaning exercise and go back to basics to what it is supposed to be – a regulatory body and safeguarding its revenue.
This is the ambitious task of its newly-appointed chairman, Datuk Lee Hwa Beng (pic).
A revamp of both the PKA and the Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFZ) boards is in the pipeline, and it is learnt that Westport’s Tan Sri G. Gnanalingam has tendered his resignation from the latter.
For starters, an international firm of auditors will be appointed to go through the entire accounts and activities of the PKFZ.
“But more importantly, the focus will be on getting to the bottom of how costs escalated to RM4.6 billion – far above the original RM2 billion,” Lee told theSun yesterday.
He said the selection of an international firm – which he will announce at PKA’s first board meeting tomorrow – was to ensure that it was independent and free from interference while conducting its audit.
“People have no confidence in the ACA (Anti-Corruption Agency) or PAC (Public Accounts Committee), so this is the best option,” he said.
Asked if wrong-doers will be named and shamed, Lee said: “I will recommend that the findings of the audit be made public and in case of impropriety, that the law takes its course.
“I am certain that with Datuk Ong (Tee Keat) at the helm, I will have a free hand in running the port as he is a no-nonsense person and is as adamant as I am to get to the bottom of the PKFZ issue,” said Lee, whose appointment was announced by the transport minister on Friday.
“I am well aware of the challenges and pitfalls but I am prepared to fulfil my duties transparently and effectively.”
Lee, an accountant by training, however, opined that the PKFZ was a bad idea to start with.
“Tariffs worldwide are going down, so how is the PKFZ going to be attractive to investors?
“With the worldwide economic downturn, the manufacturing sectors are also being relocated to China, India and Vietnam,” said Lee, the former three-term state assemblyman for Subang Jaya.