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Minister avoids queries on new Johor ship hub

Published:  |  Modified:

Transport Minister Anthony Loke has urged the press to hold on to queries on the new ship-to-ship hub in Johor for the signing ceremony tomorrow.

He said this when asked to respond to a posting on Johor Crown Prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim's Facebook page.

"You can ask the question tomorrow. The PM will be attending the event," Loke told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

According to the post on Tunku Ismail's Facebook page, which reproduced a posting from Gerakan Muafakat Johor's Facebook page, Putrajaya was accused of failing to inform the Johor government on the new shipping hub.

KA Petra Sdn Bhd and Hong Kong's Hutchinson Port Holdings Ltd are scheduled to sign the deal tomorrow in Putrajaya.

According to Gerakan Muafakat Johor, the deal was hatched in a secretive manner.

"Our research found that the joint venture has special treatment from the federal government because it is believed that it involved cronies of certain leaders in Putrajaya.

"This is an attack on Johor's economy because it will decide who benefits from doing business (at the site and it will) benefit their cronies," the anonymous posting says.

It also accused Putrajaya of undermining the federation agreement, which allowed Johor to decide on matters concerning land and water, and risks inciting secession.

Although Tunku Ismail (above) did not weigh in on the topic, his posting last night had attracted about 1,000 comments.

KA Petra, founded in 2008 by Shahrul Amirul, specialises in oil and gas related shipping services.

Hutchinson Port is among the biggest port operators in the world. It also owns a stake in Port Klang.

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