KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) wants the Transport Ministry to investigate if YTL Corporation Bhd should be held accountable for the failure of the Pulau Mentagor public marina project.
PAC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said the committee viewed the project seriously as it was initially supposed to be built in Lumut, Perak.
"However, after suggestions from YTL, it was moved to Pulau Mentagor.
"The project was awarded to YTL through direct negotiation, worth RM24.27mil.
"However, this public marina was never operational and was not used at all as YTL was no longer interested in developing the uninhabited island
"We urge the Transport Ministry to look into the accountability of YTL in the Pulau Mentagor project," said Kiandee in a statement Monday (March 18).
The report was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on the same day.
The Pulau Mentagor public marina was completed on July 31, 2007, and began operations on March 22, 2010.
However, the marina did not get a good response from mariners and no ships entered the marina throughout its operational period, the report read.
The report said the Marine Department of Malaysia (JLM) also noted on June 9, 2010 that there was damage to the pontoons due to strong winds and waves.
Repairs were made in November 2014 at a cost of RM401,600.
On Dec 4, 2015, the Cabinet agreed to lease Pulau Mentagor to the Manjung Municipal Council for a period of 32 years for RM160,000 a year, which it rejected.
In September last year, the Transport Ministry contacted YTL and asked if they were still interested in running the operations at the marina, but a month later, YTL said it was not interested.
Apart from the marina in Pulau Mentagor, the PAC also looked into all public marinas in the country and found that from the 11 built, only five are still in operation.
"However, these public marina projects have failed to encourage the yachting and marine tourism industry," said Kiandee.
The PAC also felt that the weaknesses in the development and management of these public marinas were due to the absence of in-depth feasibility studies before the projects began.
Kiandee said the PAC has urged the Public Private Partnership Unit (Ukas) to expedite feasibility studies on such public marina projects.
"The PAC also urges the government to enhance security at public marinas involving the entry of foreigners.
"The Marine Department also needs to ensure better security and financial management as well as more efficient revenue collection from public marinas," said Kiandee.
The PAC also urged Ministries and agencies to look into maintenance costs and human resources before applying for development allocation.
"The PAC also urges the government to be more careful in planning development activities," he said.
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