KUALA LUMPUR June 17:
Improper payments made for servicing Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) trains was its own doing which could not be recovered, the Transport Ministry said.
According to the Auditor-General’s Report, which was released yesterday, the Railway Assets Corporation (PAC) had paid RM99.94 million to CSR Zhuzhou Eletric Locomotive Co Limited to service the six-car Electric Multiple Unit (EMU).
The Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Loong See Wool explained that upon checking, it was discovered that KTMB had certified the payments only after PAC had approved the payments.
The sum, he also said, could not be retrieved as the servicing company had already prepared the necessary facilities, equipment and manpower, although KTMB failed to send its trains for servicing.
“If we don’t send the trains for servicing, it could affect the warranty. On those grounds, action will be taken against the fleet planner,” he said, adding that the contract stipulated the trains were to be serviced “daily, weekly and monthly”.
Loong was speaking to reporters at a media briefing on the Attorney-General’s Report that saw Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low and the Auditor General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang in attendance.
When asked why KTMB had failed to send the trains for service, Loong cited the location of the service depot in Sungai Buloh, which was “very far”, public holidays, scheduling conflicts, damaged tracks due to floods, among others.
“All these were not anticipated by KTMB when they recommended the maintenance schedule when they entered into the contract.
“This will be taken into account when we revise the contract for there to be certain gaps for servicing instead of having to send the trains every day,” he said, clarifying that only “certain trains” could not be sent for service.
Loong added a new depot in Seremban, scheduled to be completed by year end, would help resolve the scheduling problem.