Thursday, 26 July 2012

Business chambers say will bid for Penang Port to block Syed Mokhtar

GEORGE TOWN, July 26 — The Penang Chinese Chamber of Commerce (PCCC) will form a consortium in a bid to take over Penang Port, says its president Tan Sri Tan Kok Ping.

Tan said the various chambers of commerce in Penang — Malay, Chinese and Indian — and the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers would participate in the consortium.

File photo of the iconic ferries at a jetty in Penang. A Penang consortium now wants to bid to take over Penang Port. — Reuters pic
He said subject to the federal government’s approval, PCCC was confident of getting the funds and competing with tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary in the takeover exercise.
 “The consortium also has plans to raise funds via listing in order to upgrade and enhance Penang Port facilities and infrastructure,” he said.

Tan said this at a media briefing to declare PCCC’s stand and counter-measures on the Penang Port privatisation.

He said the chamber would write to the Ministry of Finance on its proposal within one to two days.

The PCCC believed it has a good reason to get the approval because the move to dispose of Penang Port to Seaport Terminal (Johor) Sdn Bhd, which was owned by Syed Mokhtar, was against the Competition Act 2010.

“We object to Syed Mokhtar taking over Penang Port as this is against the spirit of the law of anti-trust.
“If a person or company takes control of two large commercial ports, he will inevitably sacrifice the interests of one party to protect the other party.

“This move is obviously against the Competition Act 2010.

“Besides affecting the future of Penang Port, it may also result in the port becoming a feeder port and also lose the advantages of become a regional port,” he said.

Tan said the move to form a consortium was to ensure the sustainability in the management and development of the port and protect the interest of Penang folk.

He said the 220-year-old Penang Port has great historical value compared to Johor port which has not more than 20 years of history. — Bernama

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