PMCC backs Seaport’s bid

GEORGE TOWN: The Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce (PMCC) plans to advise the Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) to accept the bid by Seaport Terminal Sdn Bhd to privatise the Penang Port.

Its president Rizal Faris Mohideen Abdul Kader said he read about PCCC’s intention to form a consortium to bid for the privatisation of the port, but he has come away impressed with the Seaport’s business plans.

“What’s important is that the stakeholders of the port will be the ones affected if they do not get a good guy running the port. The company awarded with the privatisation must have the credentials, merit and competency to run it,” he said after hosting a dialogue with Seaport Terminal director Datuk Mohd Sidik Shaik Osman at the PMCC office.

It was reported that Seaport had won the privatisation bid of the port.

“I have received a letter from PCCC president Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping about bidding for the port but I have yet to get the full details. We will sit down and discuss with the PCCC and advise him (Tan) to accept Seaport (as the concession holder for the privatisation),” he said.

It was reported on July 27 that the PCCC under Tan’s tutelage had announced plans to form a local consortium to bid for the port.

The dialogue yesterday was between PMCC, the Penang Port Forum participants, who are stakeholders of the port and Seaport led by Mohd Sidik.

Rizal noted that the PMCC and the forum will support the privatisation to Seaport.

“He (Mohd Sidik) explained that there will be no transferring of cranes to other ports. He was precise in answering every single accusation that was made,” added Rizal.

Later, Mohd Sidik said he told the PMCC and the Forum that Seaport wants Penang Port to regain its competitive value as a regional shipping hub.

“We will dredge the channel for all the vessels that come into the port. We also explained about improving the ferry services. There could be a new service coming into place,” he said.

Rizal also disclosed that PMCC would make a proposal to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to turn the Swettenham Pier into a world class terminal for cruise ships.

Tan declined comment when contacted.

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