Now we see various quarters pushing for the RM353m dredging work to be carried out at the Penang port, which is being privatised to Syed Mokthar Al-Bukhary’s Seaport Terminal. This raises several questions.
The dredging is expected to boost operations at the port and presumably increase the port’s profitability arising from the extra volume expected. So the profits or benefits will go to Penang Port – but who pays for the dredging? Will the money come out of public funds? Another case of privatisation of profits and socialisation of costs?
Who actually does the dredging work? Will there be an open tender or will the RM353m go to the company which has a monopoly concession for the dredging of ports? If it is the latter, who really owns this concessionaire firm directly or through proxies?
And finally but no less important, who will independently monitor the dredging work to ensure that the actual volume of dredging carried out is what is claimed?
These questions must be answered. Private firms stand to benefit from the RM353m (presumably out of public funds) while the public remains in the dark.
No to the privatisation of Penang port.