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KLANG, Oct 23 — Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) will take about 29 years to pay off its RM3.8 billion in federal loans at the quarterly rate to the Port Klang Authority (PKA) started last year, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said today.
He told a press conference that PKFZ was paying the PKA RM55 million every three months and was significantly rehabilitated from the days of its scandal.
“We know that PKFZ was developed through a loan and it has been restructured. PKA took a RM3.8 billion loan from the Finance Ministry and they must pay back the loan. Since PKFZ assets falls under PKA, PKA must pay back to the Finance Ministry in instalments.
“This is why it is critical for us to ensure that PKFZ can increase its revenue through the facilities and infrastructure that we build here to gain more income,” Loke said after launching PKFZ’s Transformation Master Plan (TMP).
Later, PKA general manager Captain K. Subramaniam told reporters that it has never defaulted on payments and last year collected RM220 million from the zone.
Over the last five years, PFKZ has enjoyed double digit growth with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.6 per cent largely fuelled by increase in lease venue and cargo movement through Westports.
It is expected to earn RM96.62 million in revenue this year with approximately a RM80 million surplus in net income on the backs of 327,000 TEU and 4.12 million FWT cargo throughput.
Prior to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the RM4.6 billion PKFZ was the biggest financial scandal to hit Malaysia.
However, it was deemed to be a scandal with no culprits as all of those charged with cheating the project were acquitted.
This includes former transport minister and MCA president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, Tan Sri Chan Kong Choy as well as former Port Klang Authority chairman OC Phang.
Touching on the TMP, Loke stressed that there will be no capital injection from the government and it will be internally funded.
The TMP will see a duty free retail outlets to be established in PKFZ’s Commercial Zone with the first tenants opening their doors in around six months’ time.
The transport minister also lauded the recently announced Budget 2020’s RM50 million allocation to improve the roads in the Port Klang area.
“The Finance Ministry has allocated RM50 million for road improvement in Pulau Endah. Of course it was announced in the budget. This is to ensure good connectivity. Even if you have a duty free zone here, you still need good roads to ensure that people will come over.
“This can also tap into the cruise tourists who dock here a few times a week. Once here, they can either go to Klang or to Kuala Lumpur but if they want to go nearby, there’s nothing much. Now they can have the duty free zone,” said Loke.
Other initiatives under TMP include a Maritime Logistics Academy and a Maritime Science Discovery Centre.