The government will carry out a feasibility study on the proposed RM200 billion Carey Island port project, reported The Edge today.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke was quoted saying that the Port Klang Authority (PKA) will be asked to commission the study on the necessity for another port near Northport and Westport in Port Klang.
"The government does not operate ports anymore. The concession will be given to the private sector - but the feasibility studies will be driven by the government.
"Right now, (the project) is actually at a very initial stage. There was no approval given by the previous government for a third port," he was quoted telling a press conference, adding that the Carey Island port, if approved, will be driven by private initiative.
In April last year, MMC Port Holdings Sdn Bhd and Sime Darby Property Bhd signed a memorandum of understanding with India's largest private port operator Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd to study the feasibility of the developments on Carey Island.
The project has also put into question, the fate of the Mah Meri tribe, one of 18 indigenous groups in Peninsular Malaysia, who has been synonymous with Carey Island.
They have inhabited the land since the early days of the Selangor sultanate and remained there even after it was purchased by a British man and turned into a plantation, which later came under the ownership of Sime Darby Bhd.
PKA general manager K Subramaniam, who was also present at the press conference, said that the Port Klang needed to expand but stressed that timing, the scale and the costs will need to be looked into.
"We have to move forward. Development of ports is a long-term initiative. [But] any decision will go through the government, and we are keen to conduct the study," he was quoted saying.