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Saturday May 3, 2008

New Port Klang Authority chairman to name accounting firm

Transport Minister: Independent audit for PKFZ

"There have been many reports criticising PKFZ as a ‘white elephant’ and a scandal" - ONG TEE KEAT

PUTRAJAYA: An independent accounting firm will be appointed to conduct an overall audit on the accounts of the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project.

Transport Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat said the audit was not a probe on any party relating to handling of the accounts in PKFZ.

Ong, who named Datuk Lee Hwa Beng as the new Port Klang Authority chairman yesterday, said Lee would announce the name of the accounting firm next week.

“The audit is necessary for PKFZ to make a fresh start. There have been many reports criticising PKFZ as a ‘white elephant’ and a scandal.

“This is a grave accusation when nothing conclusive has been proven yet,” he told reporters after chairing the post-Cabinet meeting at his office here yesterday.

The previous chairman Datuk Chor Chee Heung resigned on March 31 after being re-appointed into the Cabinet as Deputy Home Minister.

Lee, the former Subang Jaya assemblyman, is an accountant by training.

Ong had previously promised to reveal how the RM4.6bil soft loan to the PKFZ was spent after costs of the project were said to have ballooned from RM1.845bil.

He also extended an invitation to the media to visit the PKFZ site next week to see for themselves the project’s progress.

”We should see what has been achieved in the one year since news broke out on the PKFZ. Results will show,” he pointed out.

Lee said he was touched by the minister’s confidence in him and that he would try his best to clarify the PKFZ's accounts.

On another matter, Ong said it was still too early to determine which of the ministry’s projects scheduled under the Ninth Malaysia Plan would be put on hold.


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