Malaysian ports are no match for Singapore’s

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Malaysia’s Carey port city is not a threat to Singapore, says its port authorities.

Port Klang Authority chairman explained on Thursday that the massive RM200 billion ($45 billion) port industrial city planned in Malaysia’s Carey Island is “not a threat” to Singapore or any other ports along the Strait of Malacca.

“Singapore is also building a big terminal at Tuas which is 65 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units); whereas for Carey Island, we are only talking about developing the port in phases – maybe up to a maximum of 30 million TEUs only,” said Kong Cho Ha, chairman of Port Klang Authority, the body behind the project to a local Singapore TV network

Authorities are expecting construction to start by 2025 if the Malaysian government approves the proposal. “By 2025, the other terminals on Port Klang – such as West Port and North Port – would have already reached their capacity,” said Kong.

It was also reported that the port will span more than 100 sq km on the island next to Port Klang and have free trade zones, residential and commercial developments as well as other supporting infrastructure. “Also, the infrastructure – roads and utilities for e.g. – at these terminals cannot support continual growth; and cannot support the increasing vehicle volume that is moving in and out of the port,” said the chairman.

Kong further explains why the Carey Island port and other two ports, whose plans are underway, will be beneficial. All the ports will serve different functions and their works will not overlap each others’, he said.
Meanwhile, it is said that Investors from China are largely funding these Malacca projects. Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai invited his Chinese counterpart to jointly develop Carey Island into a deep-sea port, Malaysia’s Star newspaper had reported earlier.

However, the Port Klang Authority chairman refused to comment on the involvement of the Asian giant saying that there were many interested parties and investments will be welcome from “any country”.

In 2007 the Port Klang Authority was embroiled in a scandal involving its general manager Datin Paduka O.C. Phang over massive cost overruns.

The feverish pitch to which the imbroglio reached even saw the matter being deliberated in parliament followed by a ceaseless run of incendiary news reports inveighing against its management and the system of audits in its port administration.