Thursday, 12 April 2012
Halal Hub, market in AG's spotlight
SHAH ALAM: The Selangor Halal Hub in Pulau Indah, Port Klang, has been described as uncompetitive for failing to attract local and foreign investors.
The Auditor-General, in his annual report, noted that only two companies are operating at the 951-acre hub that was launched in 2003 and touted to be the first of its kind in Malaysia.
Lack of promotion, marketing strategies and difficulties in obtaining bank loans are among the reasons for the slow development of the commercial centre.
“No feasibility study was conducted before the project was implemented,” the report noted as another reason for the hub’s stalled progress.
The project is being carried out by state property arm Kumpulan Hartanah Selangor Bhd’s subsidiary Central Spectrum (M) Sdn Bhd.
Divided into three phases, 10 companies bought 220 acres of land during the first phase of its development from 2003 to 2007, but only two have started operating.
The second phase started in 2008, but as of April 2011, only 120 acres have been sold to nine investors while another 117.7 acres remain vacant.
One of the purchasers also owes Central Spectrum RM6.02 million in arrears.
The AG also reported that the decade-old Selangor Wholesale Market in Seri Kembangan has yet to meet its objective of allowing farmers and fishermen to directly sell their produce to consumers.
“Out of the 229 lots rented out, it was found that 124 (54%) were handled by foreigners from Myanmar, Bangladesh and Indonesia during an audit visit to the market on Feb 22, 2011,” said the report.
The auditors found that only 61 out of the 229 were local tenants and among these 61, the majority were dealers, distributors and wholesalers.
Developed by state-owned PKPS Agro Industries Sdn Bhd, the RM25 million Selangor Wholesale Market was completed in March 2001 and started operating in May 2001.
The wet market was supposed to raise farmers and fishermen's incomes by eliminating the role of middlemen.
However, due to lacklustre response from farmers and fishermen, the shoplots were rented out to outsiders to sustain the operational costs.
The AG recommended that PKPS Agro Industries increase promotional activities, improve basic facilities and cleanliness as well as security to attract more visitors.