Tuesday, August 28, 2007

PKFZ, Johor Crimes Among Issues Raised At Dialogue With Rafidah - Bernama

SINGAPORE, Aug 28 (Bernama) -- The annual seminar on business opportunities in Malaysia took place in Singapore today, attended by some 1,000 members of the Singapore business community as well as representatives of state governments and agencies in Malaysia.

As was the case in the past, the participants took full advantage of the opportunity to shoot questions at International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz in a no-holds barred style.

A participant, for instance, spoke of the backlog of pending cases in courts which he said could affect confidence among investors who want speedy settlement in the event of commercial disputes, citing his bad experience in Penang involving a piece of land for development.

Rafidah said the government is equally concerned of matters that could affect investor confidence, hence the decision to set up Pemudah, a special task force to find ways to facilitate business in Malaysia.

"But this is not the norm, but if you are the aggrieved party, you don't care whether this is a norm or not, you just want your problem settled," she said, adding that she would raise the matter with the Cabinet.

She also pointed out that land matters are under the jurisdiction of state governments but assured the business community that they too are committed to ensuring that bureaucratic processes are minimised.

Another participant questioned Malaysia's concern over pollution since the matter was not mentioned in Rafidah's keynote address earlier, but she assured that Malaysia is indeed concerned about the environment, saying:

"Environment is very important to Malaysia. We want to make sure that we have enough forest cover to make sure the environment is not spoilt, but cultural habits also contribute to pollution."

There was also a question about "problems" relating to Port Klang but Rafidah said she was not aware of it.

"I don't think you are talking about Port Klang but about the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ)," she said.

"The problem is not with the port. It's the development of a free zone. These are all commercial ventures and the government is now looking at it ... there was some financial escalation."

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