PETALING JAYA: Telekom Malaysia Bhd (TM) has seemingly distanced itself from the controversy surrounding the concessionaire operating and managing the Kuala Lumpur Tower, stating that its selection process was “taken up by the government”.
The telecommunications company said the KL Tower was owned by the government while its operations and maintenance had been granted to a wholly-owned TM subsidiary, Menara Kuala Lumpur Sdn Bhd (MKLSB), since 1996.
The acquisition of the TM subsidiary by another company is currently under probe by the authorities.
TM also said it has decided to focus on strengthening its core business of telecommunications and technology.
After due consideration on the business nature of the KL Tower — from telecommunications services to tourism and hospitality — it decided in October 2021 not to renew the KL Tower concession and informed the government accordingly.
“Subsequently, in 2022, the selection process of the new concessionaire was taken up by the government and TM was informed about the appointed company to take over the shares of MKLSB and the KL Tower concession,” it said in a statement.
It said MKLSB was to “continue to operate the concession and ensure the continuity of KL Tower operations for the Malaysian public, including international visitors”.
It added that MKLSB employees were to remain employed under the new concessionaire for a minimum of three years to ensure their welfare was protected during the transition period.
Stating that its Q3 2022 financial announcement to Bursa Malaysia had made reference to changes to the shareholding in MKLSB, TM said it would provide its full cooperation as required by the authorities.
Earlier today, FMT reported that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had launched a probe into the acquisition of a TM subsidiary that manages the KL Tower.
Questions had been raised on social media over the acquisition of MKLSB by a firm known as Hydroshoppe Sdn Bhd, including why no public announcement was made.
MACC chief Azam Baki confirmed that the deal was being investigated but did not disclose any details.
“Yes, MACC has opened an investigation paper (on the matter). We have started an investigation,” he said, according to the Malaysian Insight.
In a statement to the press, MACC said it had called in three witnesses and got numerous documents from the relevant parties to be examined.
Several social media users had highlighted TM’s move to transfer full ownership of MKLSB to Hydroshoppe in October.
A Twitter user with the handle @FreeMsian, who described KL Tower as a “cash cow”, said the iconic structure that also served as a tourist attraction generated RM66 million in revenue in 2019 and recorded a net profit of RM25 million then.
Wondering why there was no public announcement about the deal, the Twitter user asked why TM had sold all its 10 million shares in MKLSB.