Tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary has won the race to take over the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB), adding the northern port operator to his maritime logistics operations.
The influential businessman already owns Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Johor Port via MMC Corp Bhd, whose joint venture with Gamuda Bhd were also named Project Delivery Partner (PDP) for the RM36 billion Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project in Kuala Lumpur.
Syed Mokhtar also owns a slew of other businesses in the country and overseas. His companies have reported massive gearing from financial institutions. He is probably one of the most highly geared investors in the country.
Mukhriz had reportedly spoken about a need for paradigm shift in the Malay economy. Concentration of equity in the hands of a few may not be part of the paradigm shift he mentioned. How can the government create a larger class of Malay-Bumiputera business community if all major/significant privatisation projects are given to a select few?
Syed Mokhtar is a businessman/investor. Why doesn't the government consider giving the project to those who have actual experience in running a port or professionals?
Next, is it wise to pile up more eggs on Syed Mokhtar's already overfilled basket?
It looks like the government hardly walks its talk about reform of the economy.
What's Mukhriz's response to this issue?