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Comittee appointed to look into Port Klang corruption scandal

Comittee appointed to look into Port Klang corruption scandal

Kuala Lumpur: Paul Low, president of the Malaysian chapter of Transparency International, is to head a committee to oversee the revival of scandal-plagued Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFZ) following allegations of corruption in the project, writes Port World. "I understand that the whole nation is watching the developments as it unfolds and we are mindful that we must act in the best interest of the people," said Transport Minister Ong Tee Keat.

Ong said the committee, including two other panels set up to look into the matter, would be given two months to report back to the ministry with recommendations on "how to justify the wrongs and pursue appropriate legal remedies."

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak's government has been accused of cronyism involving the project at Port Klang, one of the country's key ports.

The PKFZ was established from a 1.8 billion ringgit ($514.5m) joint venture between the Port Klang Authority and Dubai's Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone. The latter withdrew from the project after disagreements with the promoter.

A report from auditors released on May 28 showed the port project's cost may have surged by six times from the original estimate of about 1.96 billion ringgit ($563.5m).  [11/06/09]