Penang is geographically located in the Straits of Malacca entering the Bay of Bengal which is key to the India-China route and will also see the resurgence of Burma. Penang’s economic future requires Penang Port to be a regional port and transshipment hub which means cheaper shipment cost and more shipment routes for the Penang industries.
However, the Barisan Nasional Federal Government prefers Penang Port to be privatised to Seaport Terminal (Johor) Sdn. Bhd. owned by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary, without considering its adverse impact once the Port become a feeder port. It will also hurt Malaysia’s competitiveness as a trade and investment destination.
That’s why DAP Penang, together with Penangites, is launching a public campaign called “Return the Port to Penang”, to prevent the privatization from turning into a reality. Anything is still possible as long as the privatization agreement is not signed. It’s time that the people of Penang should unite and show our people’s power to ensure a vibrant Penang Port and a dynamic Penang’s economy.
We, the undersigned, call on:-
1. The Cabinet to revoke its decision on 25th November 2011 to privatize Penang Port Sdn. Bhd. to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary’s Seaport Terminal (Johore) Sdn. Bhd. so that the latter does not turn Penang Port into a feeder port for his other privatize ports;
2. The Barisan Nasional Federal Government to dredge the channel immediately, as it was promised in the 9th and the 10th Malaysia Plan, to a depth that allows big vessels of 4,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) and above to call the port; and
3. The Barisan Nasional Federal Government to transfer the ownership of the Penang Port to the Penang State Government which has the popular mandate of the people of Penang.