Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Special task force, committees set up on PKFZ audit report

PUTRAJAYA: A special task force has been set up to give the Port Klang Authority (PKA) recommendations on how to rectify the wrongs and pursue appropriate legal action in respect to the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) audit report.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the task force, which was formed on Wednesday together with a corporate governance committee and an executive committee, has two months to produce the recommendations.

The corporate governance committee has been tasked with putting in place a long-term control mechanism to ensure the PKA board and management follow good governance rules and regulations.

The executive committee meanwhile has been tasked with reviving the PKFZ.

Ong also said he would also not engage in a tit-for-tat with the Opposition, who has been harping on a number of issues surrounding the PKFZ project.

"A new website, www.pkfznews.com.my, will address all these questions," he said.

Ong said the website would be completely transparent in addressing all questions, such as the audit report actually being ready in February, which was pointed out by a reporter.

"There should be no apprehension. "I understand that the whole nation is watching the development as it unfolds. We are mindful that we must act in the best interest of the people," he said at a press conference in his office on Wednesday.

When asked if this meant that the ministry was serious in taking action against those responsible for the escalating cost, Ong said the it would have to work within its jurisdiction.

When asked if the results from the task force would eventually lead to long drawn out legal battles, Ong said it was not fair to pre-judge the matter at this juncture.

According to a statement by PKA, the task force is to be headed by senior lawyer, Vinayak Pradhan, from legal firm Skrine.

He is to be assisted by Lim Chee Wee, partner of Skrine, PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services (PwCAS) managing director, Chin Kwai Fatt, and PwCAS senior executive director Lim San Peen.

As for the two committees, the corporate governance committee is to be headed by Transparency-International Malaysia president Datuk Paul Low while the executive committee is to be headed jointly by PKA chairman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng and Chartered Institute of Marketing Malaysia president Tan Sri Dr James Alfred.

Lee said the only cost involved in setting up the committees and task force would be professional fees to be paid to the task force.

"Those in the committees would only be getting meeting allowances," he said, adding that it would take two weeks to decide on the terms of reference for the task force.

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