Thursday, June 19, 2008

RAPID KL: Answers to questions & SAPP (Dr. M)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

RAPID KL: Answers to questions & SAPP
Dr Mahathir

1. My son-in-law was not and has never been Chief Executive Officer of MTrans. He was working with the company. I do not know why Prasarana should require 1,500 buses in 1995. It may have taken over the LRT lines but it had already got buses for the feeder system.

I have been informed that Rapid KL belong to the Ministry of Finance and not Khazanah. This increases the mystery of the 1,500 buses for Prasarana.

2. I confess I persuaded MTrans to go into the manufacture of the monorail train, build the tracks and operate it. There was no other Malaysian company willing to do so at that time. As the development cost was high I had to assure MTrans it would be given first preference if a monorail is to be built in Kuala Lumpur.

My main interest is to bring in the technology. I wanted Malaysia not just to use its own monorail trains but to export them as well.

Foreign companies were only interested in selling the train and the lines i.e. not to invest but to get a Government contract.

If being given the rights to risk their own money to acquire monorail technology, develop and test and then build the system in Kuala Lumpur when no others were willing constitute monopoly then I stand guilty.

If my son-in-law happened to be in this company and I did not penalise this company I am very sorry. Since no other company was interested penalising MTrans would mean no Malaysian made monorail train or system.

3. I did not authorise a bailout of the company. The Government talked with MTrans for a monorail system for Putrajaya which could provide some relief for the company.

But the Abdullah Government cancelled this project after the company had built the bridge and part of the track. Government only paid a part of the cost. After this MTrans financial position became worse.

Its value plummeted and Scomi bought only the manufacturing plant in 2006. This was the profitable part of the company.

The Kuala Lumpur Monorail system was acquired by Khazanah when it went into receivership. It was not profitable.

There was no bailout i.e. the Government did not inject capital to revive the company during my premiership. It was a simple purchase by Scomi and Khazanah of a company bankrupted by a decision of the Government after I stepped down.

I am glad that after Scomi bought MTrans it is now making profit. But then Scomi bought the profitable manufacturing plant.

If Utusan is to be believed Scomi only refurbishes Rapid KL buses. If refurbishing gives 20 million Ringgit profits in 2006 i.e. the first year of acquisition as announced by Scomi then the management of Scomi must be brilliant.

It is also no mean feat to get 70 buses out of 150 buses tendered out by Rapid Penang.

Five other companies got the balance of 80 – or 16 buses each. I wish them luck.


Tiny SAPP (Sabah Progressive Party) wants to move a motion of no-confidence in Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Apparently SAPP is still confident in Barisan Nasional.

As expected we hear the usual chorus of pledges by the other BN parties to support Abdullah.

When will BN party leaders wake up to the fact that the majority of Malaysians do not want Dato Seri Abdullah as Prime Minister? It was this inability to appreciate the feelings of the people that led to the disastrous 2008 election results by them.

The peninsular BN parties should realise that they have become irrelevant.

Ignore the people and you will find yourself totally rejected.

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