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Mar 6, 2008

More curi duit stories: Port Klang Free Zone


By Little Bird

Just got an SMS that goes like this: "The next 5 years will be the current group's last term. Given this scenario it will be 'pukul habis' before they leave. That's what you can expect next 5 years. Please ponder."

What this means is that all the jerung will be going all out to line their pockets because they know that one way or another their days are numbered. Badawi and his family already have homes in Perth. Patrick Badawi also has a house there. So they have a safe haven.

Just to revisit the Klang Port Free Zone issue. This white elephant has so far sucked up over RM5.0 billion of taxpayers money to bail out this 'pukul habis' project. What irks me is that few people fully realise the scale of this fiasco.

Anyone who is interested can check out the PKFZ at their web site here :

Its worth a visit. We already have Northport and Westport on Pulau Indah. Now we have Port Klang Free Zone as well.

The story goes like this. When Ling Liong Sik was the Minister of Transport he already had set his sights on the PKFZ. It is a land scam followed by a construction scam financed by one of the largest Gomen bailouts using taxpayer's money.

The land part was done by Ling Liong Sik and cronies. They got (not bought) the land cheap between RM5.50 to RM9.00 per square foot. Folks say their total acquisition cost was about RM90.0 million ONLY (small change).

This was later sold to KPFZ for RM25 to RM28 psf. Their website says that "Port Klang Free Zone or PKFZ is an integrated 1,000-acre Free Commercial and Industrial Zone providing facilities for international cargo distribution and consolidation centre.'

An acre is over 44,000 square feet. So they sold the 1000 acres to KPFZ for about RM1.1 billion (give or take a hundred million lah, small change only). In the process they also evicted kampong folks and squatters.

So acquisition price was RM90 million, selling price was RM1.1 Billion. Encik Taxpayer you paid for this okay.

It is believed that Liong Sik and UMNO cronies made amost RM900 million clean from this first cut alone. Where do you think Zakaria Deros got the RM8.0 million to build his mansion? Helloo, wakey, wakey (bangun tidur sayang).

Then the land had to be treated, flattened and laid out. Some of the land was also tidal. It had to be reclaimed and shored up too. This cost the PKFZ another RM100 million (about RM100,000 per acre). Err, thats our money again lah.

Then came the second part of the scam - the construction contracts. By this time Chan Kong Choy had moved in as Minister of Transport. The construction of the KPFZ began. The reader should really visit the KPFZ's website and see for yourself what they have done. It is like Putrajaya. They have even divided the place up into 8 Precincts - Putrajaya style.

Included in the huge complex is a business class hotel (still empty), four blocks of 8 storey office complexes (largely empty) and 512 warehouses each of over 5000 sq ft of lettable space. That is a total of 2.6 million square feet of warehouse space alone - about three times the size of Mid Valley Megamall!

A friend told me that only 10% of these warehouses have been rented out but according to their website all the 512 warehouses are still available for rent at RM1.50 to RM2.00 per square foot. In other words this is a whiter than white, albino elephant. Tak boleh sewa.

The office complex is also available for rent at RM2.00 to RM2.50 psf. Everyone is welcome because there are no takers. White elephant.

The land and earthworks cost the KPFZ close to RM1.5 billion. The construction of all these warehouses, hotels, office complexes etc cost the remaining RM3.0 to RM4.0 Billion (give or take a Billion, whats a Billion among cronies).

The 2.6 million square feet of warehouses alone would have cost about RM200.0 million (using construction cost of RM75 per sq. ft.) to build. But I am using market rates that my contractor would charge me. These are crony contracts. No crony in his right mind would charge 'market rates'. They will charge an arm and a leg because it is you and me who are paying for this Encik Taxpayer. Remember 'pukul habis'.

Otherwise how in heaven's name can Badawi the Finance Minister and Nor Mohd Yakob the 2nd Finance Minister explain the RM4.6 Billion they authorised to bail out the KPFZ?

But here is the real mace in the face kawan-kawan: despite the RM4.6 Billion bail out the KPFZ is still empty. No one is going to rent the 512 warehouses anytime soon. No one is going to stay at the business class hotel in the middle of Pulau Indah. No one is going to open any large offices on Pulau Indah any time soon.

So where are they going to get the money to keep the place running this year, next year and the year after? What? Are those Ringgit notes I hear rustling inside your pocket Encik Taxpayer? You have more money to hand over Encik Taxpayer?


Anonymous said...

It's PKFZ not KPFZ and, according to newspaper reports, the foreign and local investment is flowing in steadily..close to 1 billion worth to date. Good start considering its only the first 12 months of operation.

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