Thursday, December 14, 2006

RM11bil bill for rescuing failed privatised units

RM11bil bill for rescuing failed privatised units

Thursday, 14 December 2006, 07:58am

THE Government forked out RM11bil to take over seven privatised projects which had run up losses and debts.

The companies were Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan Sdn Bhd (Star LRT), Projek Ushasama Transit Automatik Sdn Bhd (Putra LRT), Malaysia Airlines Bhd (MAS), Sistem Pembentungan Negara Sdn Bhd (SPN), Muslim Goods and Food Analysis Unit (MGFA) and Seremban-Port Dickson Highway Sdn Bhd.

The money also went into the rehabilitation of the abandoned Kuching Prison.

Star and Putra were taken over by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd for RM3.3bil and RM4.5bil, respectively, while it cost RM2.8bil to bail out MAS.

Work on the Kuching Prison by the Public Works Department cost RM135mil while the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway was taken over by Projek Lebuhraya Utara Selatan (PLUS) for RM142mil.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Raman Suliman said since 1983, a total of 490 projects had been successfully privatised.

“Of the figure, only a small portion had faced difficulties, which required the Government to take over.”

He told Lau Yeng Peng (BN – Gerakan) that the seven projects were initially privatised under various modes, including the build, manage and transfer concept, change of asset and public listing.

He said under the 9th Malaysia Plan, the Government would ensure the viability of privatised projects before they were implemented.

The announced NSTP-Utusan merger also cropped up, with Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainudin Raja Omar (BN – Larut) questioning the rationale behind the merger.

Several Barisan Nasional backbenchers voiced their disagreement to the proposed merger and said there was no need to discuss it since it had not been agreed upon.

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