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Tuna Port Project Becomes Multi Million Disaster Malaysia, September 19, 13

The Malaysian government is currently studying the agreement between the company and the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) before deciding its next course of action.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry is considering legal action against Bindforce Sdn Bhd, a privately owned company that failed to deliver on the tuna port venture in Batu Maung.
Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said the company is supposed to have completed the project known as the Malaysian International Tuna Port (MITP), but it was called off in 2009.
He said his ministry is currently engaging with its legal division to study the agreement made by the company with the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM), before making any decision.
“We will look into the agreement to see where the company had failed to deliver or whether they had fulfilled their obligations according to the agreement,” he told reporters after visiting the LKIM Penang office yesterday.
MITP, 40 percent-owned by LKIM and 60 percent by Bindforce Sdn Bhd, was incorporated in 2004 to undertake the privatization of the tuna port, which was scheduled for completion in 2012.
He said the project, comprising three phases, only reached the second phase before it was called off in 2009 after over RM27 million (USD 8.5 million) had been spent.
“It is not an abandoned port as over 52 fishing boats are currently utilizing the facilities managed by LKIM,” he said.
However, Tajuddin also advised the fishermen’s associations to pool their resources together to purchase their own cold storage facility for their fishery products.
He said the government is providing a RM200 monthly living allowance for full-time fishermen.
“We do not want these fishermen to rely solely on the government and hope that they can market their marine goods in the international markets,” he said, adding that Penang has some 4,556 fishermen.
He also said that the government has spent some RM2.1 million (USD 666,000) to restore 303 fishermen’s houses in the state.
“We also give them an incentive of 10 sen (about 3 cents) for each kilogram of fish landed at the LKIM jetties to prevent abuse of the government subsidy,” he said.