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With billions in cost overruns and unpaid loans, Malaysia's Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) is a mega venture gone wrong.
The 1000-acre international free trade zone promises to transform Malaysia's largest port into a regional hub and aims to generate up to 30,000 jobs by 2012.
But three years in, it still sits vacant with mere 14 per cent occupancy and continues to incur losses in operation costs.
The project has come under criticism for huge debts and poorly made decisions. It already received a soft-loan bailout of $1.31 billion in taxpayer money.
A Pricewaterhouse Coopers report warns that debts could escalate to over $3.5 billion if unresolved, further straining the nation's finances.
A previous Public Accounts Committee report attributes the failed project to incompetence. But critics say it is a result of deliberate moves to enrich the private coffers of those in power.
Critics of the PKFZ claim it reveals a nation's deep-seated culture of corruption and blatant abuse of power at the highest level.
The saga allegedly involves private companies headed by government officials, unlawful ministerial letters of support for financial loans, and extensive fraudulent overbilling, all under the watchful eye of the Port Klang authorities.
On this edition of 101 East, we investigate a billion dollar land scandal linked to an international free trade zone of Malaysia's main port.
This episode of 101 East airs from Thursday, October 15, 2009 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 1230; Friday: 0300; Saturday: 0530, 1730; Sunday: 0330, 1130; Monday: 1630; Tuesday: 1430; Wednesday: 0830, 1930; Thursday: 0630.
Source: Al Jazeera