Monday, December 1, 2008

Resignations have not affected KTMB, says Ong

Comment: At one point, only 25% of the locomotives were operational, that's very low level of service. Chinese suppliers have also made their presence in heavy industries (locomotive construction)

Tuesday December 2, 2008 THESTAR

Resignations have not affected KTMB, says Ong

KUALA LUMPUR: The resignations in September of KTM Bhd chairman Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek and two directors have not affected the operations of the railway company, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

“Otherwise, we would not have been able to do this,” he said yesterday referring to the overhauling of locomotives and electric multiple units (EMUs) at the Sentul workshop and depot.

However, Ong declined to comment further as he said the appointments are under the Finance Ministry.

“Something is in progress. Be more patient,” he told reporters after visiting the workshop and depot.

The two independent non-executive directors who tendered their resignations are Datuk Wong Mook Leong and Dr Kader Sultan Md Ismail. There are eight board members in KTMB.

It was reported in September that Lim and some of the independent non-executive directors had resigned in protest after the Government revoked an earlier decision to appoint former Pos Malaysia Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Idrose Mohamed as the new managing director.

Former general manager of KTMB’s freight services division Abdul Radzak Abdul Malek was appointed instead, taking over from Datuk Mohd Salleh Abdullah on Sept 2.

On the overhauling of the locomotives, Ong said that only five locomotives out of 20 were operational in May.

However, a task force formed by KTMB in September to resolve the issue resulted in 18 units being overhauled and operational now.

Among the steps taken, he said, were bringing in the Chinese supplier from Dalian to carry out the work at no cost as the units were still under warranty.

Ong said the remaining two units would be ready for use by the end of the month.

On the EMUs, he said that 12 out of 20 units had been overhauled, work was on schedule and would be completed by March.

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