There are still final details of the deal to be discussed, such as bearing the cost of dredging works to deepen the Penang Port Channel, however. Malaysian Transport minister Kong Cho Ha was quoted as saying: "Nevertheless, negotiations with the company on the privatisation agreement is still ongoing."
The deepening of the northern end of the Penang Channel is a key element of any deal. Believed to cost around MYR351m ($110m), the Malaysian government has long expressed a need to increase depths there from the current 11.5m to the standard 14.5m modern mega-ships require.
Penang has ambitions of becoming a major transshipment hub for the northern part of the Straits of Malacca.