IPOH, June 10 — The Perak Barisan Nasional government has delivered on its claim that the state’s investment climate was still robust with the announcement of an enormous RM9bil venture to be undertaken by a South American multinational corporation.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said today that the investment, which was to set up an iron ore distribution centre for Asia in Perak’s Manjung district, could possibly be one of the state’s largest to date.
“We have already reached the final stages of discussion and we estimate to sign the agreement by next week. We hope everything will go according to plan,” he said after meeting with the company’s representatives in his office here today.
Zambry said that the company was one of the world’s largest in the metal and mining industries and had a market capitalisation of more than RM100bil.
“They have chosen Perak because they say we are the gateway into Asia,” he said. “Furthermore, with our natural port, we have direct access to international waters.”
Zambry said that the RM9bil investment would be for the project’s first phase and the company would pump in a further RM5.6bil in the second and third phases.
“There will also be a total of at least 1,800 direct and indirect employment opportunities for our locals.
“Besides that, the company has also given its word that the project would have a positive spill-over effect for Perak with the creation of more downstream economic activities,” he said.
The centre, added Zambry, would be used to process imported iron ore into pellets before they are distribution across Asia.
“It will also be the company’s second largest such distribution centre after its base in South America,” he said.
A 1,300-acre site has already been earmarked for the project in Manjung, he added.
On the possible negative effects the project may have on the environment, Zambry said that both the state government and the company had taken note of that.
“The company is equally as concerned about environmental impact and has given its word that there would not be negative effects.
“In fact, the built-up size of the centre itself will only take up one third of the total acreage reserved for the project. The remaining land will be used as a buffer zone,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zambry hinted that this was not the last of the many foreign investments in the state.
“As I have mentioned before, I will be announcing them one by one. “There will be many more to come,” he said.
Recently, Zambry announced that the state had amassed some RM700mil in investments over the past three months.
He had also given his word that the BN government was investor-friendly and had promised the people that the current political instability in Perak had not negatively affected the state’s investment climate.
Now this is the truth.... What a shame. Lembu punya susu, sapi punya nama. What a stupid CEO
KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 – Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Kadir’s announcement yesterday of a whopping RM9 billion investment in Perak was premature and could jeopardise the deal with Brazil’s Vale, the world’s second largest mining company.
The Malaysian Insider understands the Vale’s management has not even received board approval. Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham also slammed Zambry for what he described as a publicity stunt by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
Vale could also face censure from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where the company is listed over the premature announcement, even though the Perak mentri besar did not name the company.
Zambry said yesterday that the investment, which was to set up an iron ore distribution centre for Asia in Perak’s Manjung district, could possibly be one of the state’s largest to date.
Sources told The Malaysian Insider that the company had been in talks with the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government for nearly a year before yesterday’s announcement by Zambry.
This was confirmed today by Ngeh, who was a senior executive councillor in Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin’s PR administration, which is still locked in a battle in the courts over control of the state.
“It must be put on record that the said company was in negotiations with the Pakatan Rakyat Perak state government before the latter was immorally, illegally and unconstitutionally overthrown by BN.
“I hope the BN state government will not be continuing its policy of announcing many multi million or billion ringgit projects to paint a good picture of the government,” Ngeh said in a statement today.
Zambry also claimed yesterday that the talks with Vale were in the final stages and that an agreement was set to be signed next week.
However, The Malaysian Insider has learned that Vale has no plans yet for any definitive announcement.
Sources in New York also confirmed that the company had been originally in talks with Nizar and had only recently met Zambry.
It is understood that there are still a number of hurdles to sealing the deal, including land approval and other matters.
Ngeh, who had been a party to the earlier talks with Vale, also posed a number of questions for Zambry regarding the deal.
These include concerns over whether the land in Manjung had already been converted for industrial use from its current tourism use status, and whether an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report had been completed.
There are also question marks as to whether an agreement for the acquisition of the 1,300 acres of land in question had been completed and whether the plot was state-owned or privately held.
“The Perak Pakatan Rakyat Government has a policy to announce the implementation of projects only if it has been finalised and ready to take off as we hold firmly to our principle that the people must not be misled.
“Many have lost money investing in lands surrounding projects announced by BN which did not materialise,” said Ngeh.