PKFZ: Chor must resign from PKA

Not only they are sharing office here in the Westports PKFZ, they also share office in Wisma Wijaya in Petaling Jaya.Come on! The case of conflict of interest is very clear-cut. It’s not up to Tiong King Sing or Chor Chee Heong, or the management of Wijaya Baru or Wijaya Baru Global Bhd  or Kuala Dimensi to decide. Kuala Dimensi and Wijaya Baru are sharing the same site office in Port Klang Free Zone. These companies are clearly inter-related. It’s simply insufficient for Chor to merely opt out of meetings when the interests of Wijaya Baru/Kuala Dimensi with PKA / PKFZ were in tangle.Chor must relinquish either the chairmanship of PKA or the deputy chairmanship of Wijaya Baru Global Berhad. He must also sell all his shares in these companies (if he has any). The contracts and deals signed between PKA and Kuala Dimensi/ Wijaya Baru worth more than RM3 billion. This is certainly no small matter. Chor must not drag his feet. There’s no two ways about it.

 Sticky situation for Chor?

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz & Sabrina Chan
Jun 13, 07 10:11am
Malaysiakini 
The recent appointment of Port Klang Authority (PKA) chairperson Chor Chee Heung has come under scrutiny, given that he is also deputy chairperson of a company that has had indirect business dealings with PKA. Chor was appointed to the board of directors of property developer and investment firm Wijaya Baru Global Bhd’s (WBGB) on April 23, 2004.On April 19 this year, he took over the helm of PKA which has oversight of the ambitious albeit currently derelict Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ). It was WBGB’s associate company Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd that sold 405ha of land on Pulau Indah to PKA in November 2002 for the free zone project.Kuala Dimensi was also appointed to develop the PKFZ, touted as a regional export and transhipment hub for manufactured goods, similar to the successful Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai.

DAP Selangor leader Ronnie Liu questioned why Chor is heading PKA.

“As PKA chairperson, he may influence (the authority’s) future decisions in relation to WBGB. As such, he must relinquish one of the positions,” he said when contacted.

DAP legal bureau chief Ngeh Koo Ham said the issue of potential conflict of interest is pertinent even though the land sale and development contract went through in 2002.

“Even though these decisions were made before Chor’s time, it is not acceptable that a public authority such as PKA should be in such a position in relation to a private company – in this case Kuala Dimensi – that it had engaged,” said Ngeh.

Chor was Transport Ministry parliamentary secretary from 1995-2000 and deputy minister in other portfolios until he stepped down from government in 2004. The following year, he lost his bid to become one of MCA’s four vice-presidents and dropped out of active politics. 

‘Different entities’

However, a corporate lawyer noted that the legal position on Chor’s dual posts depends on provisions of the statute governing PKA.

Different public authorities have different things to say in such situations where its office-bearers are also at the helm of private companies, he said.

It is allowed so long as Chor has declared his interests to both parties, he said, adding that space should be given to Chor to state his likely course of action in the event of a conflict between the interests of PKA and WBGB.

“Legal issues aside, however, it remains relevant whether it is morally proper for PKA’s chairperson to be the deputy chair of a private company it has engaged,” he added.

PKA’s legal advisor declined to comment on the issue, while general manager OC Phang – who is also PKFZ managing director – refused to any questions.

Chor, however, said the issue of conflict of interest does not arise.

“When there is a decision to be made by PKA that would affect the PKFZ, I would not participate. This is to be fair to PKA,” he said when contacted.

Backing Chor was WBGB chief executive officer Tiong King Sing, who claimed there is no connection between his company and Kuala Dimensi.

According to records in the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), Kuala Dimensi is owned by an investment holding and management firm Wijaya Baru Holdings Sdn Bhd (WBHSB).

At the same time, in WBGH’s 2006 annual report, Kuala Dimensi is listed as an “associate company” from which it derived “contract revenue”.

CCM documents show Tiong to be a director and shareholder in both WBGB and WBHSB, but he maintained that “there is no connection” between these companies either.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that WBGB, WBHSB, and Kuala Dimensi occupy the same premises at Wisma Wijaya in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

When contacted, the WBHSB company secretary said she holds the same post at WBGB, but she too said these “are two different entities”.

Tiong further said Chor had asked the WBGB board if he should resign or turn down the PKA appointment. They had assured him there was no need to do either.

“He did this so that there would be no misinterpretation by the public later. The board told him there is no conflict of interest,” he added.

3 Responses to “PKFZ: Chor must resign from PKA”

  1. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Do you know the price per square foot paid by Kuala Dimensi to the Pulau Indah Malay Fishermen Cooperatives?

    You will get a shock when you know the answer. Keep an eye on the Malaysiakini report tomorrow.

  2. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    Port Kelang Free Zone’s ‘kiss of death’
    Concerned Non-Economist
    Jun 13, 07 2:28pm

    LETTER TO EDITOR OF MALAYSIAKINI

    I refer to the malaysiakini report Poser over mega ‘ghost town’

    The Port Kelang Free Zone is not the first industrial zone nor will it be the last ‘white elephant’ project on this earth. In this country, we have already accumulated a number industrial parks that have not gone beyond the initial government-funded infrastructure development. Fat contracts were awarded to ‘friends’ of ‘friends’ and they were virtually – together with the board of directors – given the go ahead by the government to use the land to get loans from government-funded banks.

    This idea of large industrial parks both in free zones and non-free zones was first encouraged by Unido (United Nations Industrial Development Organisation). All over the developing world, during the early 80s, industrial parks became the fashion. The idea was good but with assured government funding, the parks got their kiss of death.

    Such an approach to industrial development or development in general is flawed. By setting up this type of industrial parks, you’re trying to pass your undervalued infrastructure cost onto the investor. What is the cost of a square foot of land in the Port Kelang Free Zone? I think that it is anywhere from RM20 to RM30. Even the smallest business will require 44,000 square feet. You work out the figures and ask yourself what kind of capital outlay the investor will have to come out with for the land itself.

    As far as I am concerned, land by itself only has value when it becomes developed. By itself, it has no value. The person who is going to invest his hard-earned money on the land should have the first choice to buy the land from the state and develop it. Not some organisation that spends millions of our money on infrastructure development which the investor may or may not want.

    I do not have to list the underutilised industrial parks that are found in each of our states. It is time for us to look into this matter and at least find a way to correct the wrong. Then at least we would have learnt – at great cost – the difference between a wise man and a fool. The wise man does at the beginning what the fool does at the end.

  3. KSTAN Says:

    Just a suggestion here, why don’t the DAP organise a talk to discuss about the many “white elephant” projects and abandoned government projects during the past few years. What say you?

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