KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Transport (MoT) and the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) have been accused of interfering and disrupting the growth of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB).
The strong rebuke came from the Railwaymen Union of Malaysia (RUM) whose president Abdul Razak Md Hassan told FMT that matters regarding trains should be dealt with by KTMB based on the fact that it was owned by the Finance Ministry.
“However, interventions by the MoT and SPAD have halted our development.”
Abdul Razak said this in response to Prime Minister Najib Razak who had said KTMB was “close to making profits for the first time since Malaysia gained independence.”
Abdul Razak urged the government not to let KTMB become a “stepchild.”
“A lot of funds were injected into Prasarana and MRT. KTMB did not get any.
“The real victims here are the workers. We are unable to give them pay raises, we need to cut costs. They even have to pay panel clinics themselves because KTMB is in debt with the panel clinics,” said Abdul Razak.
He also urged the government to provide more Electric Train Service (ETS) sets, new coaches and to widen the service of KTMB.
“This is our hope for Budget 2017. This is what we hope for because we provide service to the rakyat.”
This is not the first time RUM has spoken out on the issue. In March this year, Abdul Razak pointed out that MoT’s restructuring of KTMB via the Railway Assets Corporation (RAC) Transformation Plan will “destroy KTMB.”
“With the assets now being under the RAC, KTMB is reduced to being mere operators. What happens to all the expertise we have? We are voicing our concerns because we don’t want KTMB to turn into another Malaysia Airlines where thousands were retrenched,” he said.