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Thursday, October 4, 2012







Govt keen on privatised KTMB?

Patrick Lee | September 28, 2012
Making the country's largest train carrier a private entity will mean it will no longer need to rely on government funds, says the prime minister.
KUALA LUMPUR: The government may consider privatising Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) if it is “truly feasible”.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak hinted at this in a written reply to DAP-Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong at Parliament yesterday.

However, he said that before any action was taken, the government needed to look at this idea thoroughly.

“This has to be done so that the privatisation is truly commercially viable and feasible while giving the best benefits to the government and country,” said Najib, who is also Finance Minister.

He added that the plan was to make KTMB more competitive and successful while turning it into the backbone of public transport system.

Najib said that in order for this to take place, the government did not rule out the idea of privatising KTMB.

He said turning KTMB private would ensure that it did not rely on government finances.

He said that KTMB (wholly-owned by the Finance Ministry) was a social service, adding that it still was not capable of generating enough income to support its rising operational costs.
Union against privatisation

In recent months, MMC Corp proposed a takeover of KTMB to the federal government.

It did this after it performed a due diligence exercise to see if taking over KTMB was feasible.

Previously, it said that it would inject RM1 billion into the train service.

The move was strongly objected by KTMB’s union, the Railwaymen’s Union of Malaya (RUM), which feared that the privatisation would bring an end to workers’ benefits.

RUM said that KTMB has been losing over RM150 million every year. At the same time, the government has been controlling the fares.

 http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

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