PAC recommends ministry to investigate YTL over abandoned Pulau Mentagor marina


THE Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has recommended the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to investigate conglomerate YTL Corp Bhd and its role in the failed Pulau Mentagor public marina project, now perceived as a white elephant in Perak.

PAC chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee (picture) said of the 11 controversial public marina projects cited in the Auditor- General’s (A-G) Report 2017, he is specifically most concerned about the Pulau Mentagor waterfront.

“It was originally supposed to be built in Lumut, Perak, but was moved to Pulau Mentagor after it was awarded to the YTL Group through a direct negotiation contract worth RM24.27 million.

“This public marina was never in operation and has never been used following YTL’s loss of interest in developing this uninhabited island,” he said in a PAC report tabled in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Pulau Mentagor is located southwest of Pulau Pangkor, and on its east is Lumut.

The PAC report stated that the Pulau Mentagor marina was completed on July 31, 2007, and began operations on March 22, 2010.

The 11 controversial marina projects, worth RM323.5 million, were approved under the Eighth and Ninth Malaysia Plans in November 2000 to encourage yacht ing and marine tourism.

Of the 11 marinas which were completed between 2003 and 2009, only five are still in operation and are also plagued with problems.

The five operational marinas are in Kuching, Melaka, Batu Uban, Pulau Indah and Pulau Tioman.

Among the problems faced by these marinas, according to the PAC report, is the failure to get foreign sailors to dock and report themselves to the Immigration Department, which could pose security threats.

Meanwhile, three other marinas in Kuala Kedah, Tanjung Pengelih and Tanjung Gemok are no longer operating as public marinas and have been handed over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

The marinas in Tanjong City, Muar and Pulau Mentagor are also no longer operational.

According to the A-G’s report, some RM61.55 million in losses had been incurred due to the failures of the Pulau Mentagor and Kuala Kedah marinas.Kiandee said the committee had then summoned MoT secretary general Datuk Seri Saripuddin Kasim and Ministry of Economic Affairs secretary general Datuk Saiful Anuar Lebai Hussen in November last year over the controversial marina projects.

As a result of the investigations, Kiandee concluded that among the main causes for the failure was a weakness in the development and management of public marinas due to the lack of detailed feasibility studies before any of the projects were carried out.

“The objective of developing the public marina was to provide docking infrastructure for recreat ional boats with the purpose of encouraging yachting and marine tourism, (but) it failed to achieve its objective,” Kiandee said.

Following the findings, the committee recommended the adoption of better management and control systems over the marina’s financial systems, as well as more efficient revenue collection.

Kiandee also urged the government to streamline and increase security measures at all public marinas that are seeing an influx of foreign nationals.

“The PAC wants ministries and agencies to take into account the cost of maintenance and labour, before taking into account any development provisions.

“The committee also urges the government to be more concerned about planning any development activities and take into account a more holistic approach in future,” he added.