YTL’s shares hit by probe report over marina project

By FARA AISYAH / Graphic By TMR

YTL Corp Bhd’s shares fell yesterday following the recommendation made by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to the Transport Ministry (MoT) to investigate the conglomerate over the failed Pulau Mentagor public marina project.

The counter closed at RM1.07, four sen or 3.60% lower than its previous close on Monday. It saw 1.83 million shares traded and lost some RM212.7 million market capitalisation in yesterday’s trade alone. YTL is now valued at RM11.52 billion.

In a PAC report tabled in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday, committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee said of the 11 controversial public marina projects cited in the Auditor-General’s 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 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.

The PAC report stated that the Pulau Mentagor marina was completed on July 31, 2007, and began operations on March 22, 2010. However, no ships entered the marina throughout its operational period.

The 11 controversial marina projects, worth RM323.5 million, were approved under the Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP) and 9MP in November 2000 to encourage yachting and marine tourism.

However, YTL said in a statement on Monday that there is no basis whatsoever to infer that the group should be in any way held responsible for the shortcomings of the project.

The construction company said its subsidiary, Syarikat Pembenaan Yeoh Tiong Lay Sdn Bhd (SPYTL), completed the project on July 31, 2007, and handed it over to the Marine Department Malaysia (JLM).

JLM then issued the certificate of making good defects for the project on Oct 21, 2009, which brought the involvement of SPYTL as contractor to completion.

“In 2009, YTL made a proposal to JLM to provide operation and maintenance services for the marina. At the same time, the Perak state government also indicated that it was interested to operate the marina.

“We understand that the government decided that the marina would be leased to the Perak state government to be operated by the local council. Thereafter, YTL’s involvement in the project came to an end,” the group noted.

YTL added that the MoT approached the company in September 2018 to enquire if it was still interested to operate and maintain the marina.

The group said after due consideration, it informed the ministry that it would not pursue the opportunity at this time.