Bailout is now known as “Soft Loan”
Via Associated Press/Dow Jones:
Malaysia will give a soft loan to rescue the country’s main port authority from a debt of US$1 billion in a free port project, the government said Thursday.
Port Klang Free Zone, or PKFZ, a much-hyped shipping area opened in western Malaysia last year. Its original cost of MYR1.845 billion ballooned to MYR4.2 billion by the time the project was completed in four years.
However, the total amount committed to the project by its 30 investors is only MYR725 million.
“Because the cost of PKFC is so high, the government has agreed to give a soft loan to (Port Klang Authority). The details are being worked out,” a statement by the Transport Ministry said. It did not elaborate.
Little is made known of how the soft loan can be repaid, while it’s also vague on the repayment period.
According to AP/DowJones, the statement indicates that the Transport Ministry put part of the blame for the debt on the Dubai-based Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone Authority, or JAFZA, which pulled out from the project in July.
Minister absent, officials vanish
Malaysiakini reported that Transport Minister Chan Kong Choy and his subordinates once again evaded fielding questions on the scandal.
Neither did PKFZ chairman cum Port Klang Authority head-honcho O.C. Phang avail herself at the press conference.
The minister was conspicuously absent from a press conference called (by) Tranport Ministry at the PKFZ headquarters regarding the issue today.
Other ministry officials also did a disappearing act, leaving PKFZ officials to distribute a five-page statement from the ministry. […]
Most of the journalists at the press conference were disappointed that the ministry was not represented by any official who could shed light on the many unanswered questions regarding the issue.
BLACK MONDAY FOR KONG CHOY? Calling it the national’s biggest bailout, Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang said he will make it the first order of business when the Parliament reconvenes on Monday (August 27), to discuss the RM4.6 billion bailout.
theSun: Why this cost RM4.6bil
FOOTNOTE: Will AK Foo instruct Che Din Yusof of the Publications Control and Al-Quran Texts Unit, the senior officer at the Internal Security Ministry which controls print and publishing permits of newspapers, to order another blackout of the issue so that only the No. 1 and No. 2 can talk about it?