Economy, Featured, General, Govt, Politics

PRESS: 10 questions to Barisan Nasional on Penang Port

010712 | Bukit Mertajam

I mentioned on 23 June 2012 that Barisan Nasional, especially Penang BN led by Teng Chang Yeow, misled Penangites 3 times within the period of one month regarding their election promise to make Penang a free port.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s statement in Parliament on 13 June clearly discredited Penang BN’s election promise.. He said, the question of free port for Penang does not arise anymore.

So far, BN has not answered any of our questions and has resorted to more lies and theatrical to cover up their plot.

Today, DAP Bukit Mertajam is following up on our 3 questions with 7 more:

1) Why did Penang BN mislead Penangites at least 3 times on the promise to make Penang a free port when the Prime Minister and chairman of Barisan Nasional has clearly struck off such plans?

2) Why did the Prime Minister reject Penang Government’s offer in December 2010 to bid for taking over Penang port?

3) Why were there no open tender and no consultation with the state government on such crucial issue as the privatisation of the port which may affect the economy of the state drastically?

4) Why did MCA president and Penang Port Commission chairperson Chua Soi Lek claimed that the port’s profit was mere RM180,000 in 2011 and thus justifying the privatisation plan although Penang Port Sdn. Bhd. (PPSB) managing director Ahmad Ibnihajar later announced that its profit last year was RM15 million and the port was profitable for the last six years? PPSB recorded profits as follow: RM12.75 mil (2006), RM23.03 mil (2007), RM22.7 mil (2008), RM76.74 mil (2009), RM28.58 mil (2010), RM15 mil (2011)

5) Why did the federal government invested RM1.1 billion on the Penang Port between 2007-2012 only to give it away to a private company although the port itself is clearly profitable and plans have been made for its expansion? PPSB aimed to achieve a profit of RM100 million by 2014.

6) When will the RM353 million dredging of the Penang Port take place in order to complete the expansion of the port to ensure its competitiveness and continued profitability?

7) The ferry service is a community service for the people of Penang and is the least profitable service of the port. What will happen to the ferry service when the port is sold to a private profit-driven company? Any move against the ferry service will affect 1 million cars, 1.5 million motorcycles and about 2 million pedestrian passengers a year.

8) What is the future of the approximately 2,000 workers at the Penang Port if the privatisation plan takes place?

9) Will the MACC investigate the statement on 25 June 2012 by UMNO Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar who alleged that Najib’s administration is favoring Syed Mokthar al-Bukhari whom Bung Mokhtar claimed to be “like a king”?

10) Why did Penang BN further mislead Penangites with their latest signature campaign to request the federal government for a free port? With Hilmy Yahya, the current chairperson of PPSB and Tan Cheng Liang, former chairperson of the Penang Port Commission in the Penang BN leadership and Tan Cheng Liang’s MCA colleague, Chua Soi Lek helming the Commission, we wonder why the drama to launch a statewide signature campaign dragging all of us into their theatrical? Does it mean that Penang BN has no power to represent the demands of Penang to the Najib-led federal government, as demonstrated by the shaming of their original free port proposal by the Prime Minister?

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