Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad(Prasarana) Should Explain How A Business Model Based On Double-Standards Can Be Both Profitable And Fulfill Its Statutory Duty Of Providing A “Public Good” Of A Reliable And Efficient Public Transport. (en/cn)

Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 15.10.2013.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad(Prasarana) Should Explain How A Business Model Based On Double-Standards Can Be Both Profitable And Fulfill Its Statutory Duty Of Providing A “Public Good” Of A Reliable And Efficient Public Transport.

Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad(Prasarana) should explain how a business model based on double-standards can be both profitable and fulfill its statutory duty of providing a “public good” of a reliable and efficient public transport. This follows Prasarana’s rejection of the Penang state government’s offer of a RM 10 million annual grant in 2011 to provide free bus rides throughout the state of Penang for 7 hours during the peak hours of 6-9am and 4.30pm-8.30pm from Mondays to Fridays.

Prasarana group managing director Datuk Shahril Mokhtar said that accepting the RM10 million annual grant from the Penang state government would worsen the government-linked company’s (GLC) financial position, but he did not state the losses that would be incurred if the offer was accepted. This offer was concluded verbally with all parties concerned during a meeting in Kuala Lumpur in 2011 but was never implemented even though the state government had followed up in writing.

If Prasarana is suddenly so obsessed about profits, then why did they pay in 2011, 1.5 to 2 months bonuses to their staff which is higher than the 1 month bonus received by ordinary government civil servants, despite Prasarana suffering huge losses of RM 763 million? The Auditor-General’s Report 2012 revealed that seven Government-linked corporations(GLCs) rewarded their employees with bonuses despite recording combined losses amounting to RM2bil in 2011.

Prasarana paid its employees between 1.5 months to two months bonus despite suffering a loss of RM763 million in 2011, whilst Cyvberview paid its staff two and a half months bonus despite losing RM 254 million as shown below. No one questions those who receive a one-month bonus, similar in amount given to the 1.2 million Federal government civil servants. But why should the staff working GLCs receive more if they were making losses just like the Federal government’s losses from the budget deficit?

I wish to correct the misleading impression given by some papers that I was not concerned about GLCs making a profit. I was only highlighting the double-standards practice by Prasarana.

For Prasarana to suddenly talk about the importance of profitability in the provision of a public good such as public transport, smacks of double-standards because Prasarana did not think of profitability when paying out higher bonuses despite incurring huge losses. Why talk of profitability now to the Penang state government when the Penang state government wants to give money to increase public transport usage from the current low level of less than 7% in the city and less than 3% statewide for the whole state of Penang?

If Prasarana can not fulfil this statutory duty of providing a public good, let the state government take over buses and public transport. The sad fact of centralisation of powers by the BN Federal government is that the state government can not run public transport even is it is not paid by the federal government.

LIM GUAN ENG

— Chinese version —
槟州首席部长林冠英于2013年10月15日在乔治市光大发表声明:
国家基建公司(Prasarana)应该解释如何从该双重标准基础的商业模式上,能获得盈利和履行其法定责任,提供一个“公共物品”,为大众提供可靠和高效率的公共交通服务。

国家基建公司(Prasarana)应该解释如何从该双重标准基础的商业模式上,能获得盈利和履行其法定责任,提供一个“公共物品”,为大众提供可靠和高效率的公共交通服务。该公司拒绝接受槟州民联政府在2011年提出每年缴付1千万令吉,在每个工作天的7个小时交通尖峰时段,就是从周一至周五,上午6时至9时,及下午4时半至8时半提供免费巴士服务。

国家基建集团董事经理拿督沙里尔莫达说,如果接受槟州政府的1千万令吉常年拨款,只会让该公司现有的财赤问题严重化,但他没说明如果接受这项建议如何导致财务恶化。州政府在2011年与其他单位于吉隆坡的会议上提出这项献议,并以书面方式跟进后,一直都没办法实行这项建议。

如果国家基建公司突然痴迷利润,那为何在2011年,当该公司面对7亿6300万令吉亏损的当儿,仍然分发介于1个月半至两个月的花红给员工,这比普通公务员所获得的1个月花红还高。2012年国家总稽查司报告指出,国内7家官联机构(GLCs)尽管在2011年面对总额近20亿令吉的亏损,仍然分发花红奖励他们的员工。

国家基建公司分发介于1个月半至两个月的花红给员工,虽然当时公司面对7亿6300万令吉亏损,而Cyberview则在亏损2亿5400万令吉的情况下,依然支付员工2个月半的花红。若有关的官联公司赚钱,这个课题是没有争议的。没有人会针对那些与120万名公务员一样,领取1个月花红的职员。但是为什么这些在官联机构工作的职员,尽管公司面对如联邦政府预算赤字的亏损,却能够享有更高的花红呢?

我希望纠正一些报章指我不关心政联公司赚取盈利的错误报导,我的重点是国家基建公司的双重标准。

在谈到提供“公共物品”如公共交通的时候,国家基建公司却突然重视赚取盈利,这显然是双重标准,因为国家基建公司面对亏损时,并没想到盈利,而有能力支付更高的花红。为何当槟州政府要付费提高目前7%城市公共交通使用率,和3%郊外公共交通使用率时,国家基建公司就突然谈到盈利?

如果国家基建公司无法履行提供“公共物品”的法定任务,就让州政府拿起巴士和公共交通的权利,但令人难过的是,公共交通集权在联邦政府手中,即使联邦政府不给钱,州政府也无权管治公共交通。

林冠英

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