Keep politics out of KTMB, union’s message to new chairman

Noel Achariam

Railwaymen Union of Malaysia president Razak Md Hassan says the incoming chairman should focus on improving operations to stem the financial bleeding in the company. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, March 2, 2021.

RAILWAYMEN Union of Malaysia (RUM) has no qualms with politicians managing Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) as long as it is not for their self-interest or personal gain.

RUM president Razak Md Hassan told The Malaysian Insight that they want to see improvements to the company when the new chairman takes over.

“It (the position) must not be for personal gain, it must benefit KTMB, the rakyat and the country.”

Razak was commenting on speculations that former Perak menteri besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu will be appointed as the next KTMB chairman.

He is expected to begin next month, replacing Rameli Musa whose three-year contract will expire at the end of this month.

Razak said they want the new person to focus on the freight cargo operations, which is their main source of income.

“The focus must be to get us more trains. That is the only way to improve KTMB and stem our losses.

“This will not succeed if there is no commitment. We hope the new chairman can do this.”

The union also wants the incoming chairman to ensure that their welfare benefits and perks remain intact.

As for operations, Razak said KTMB has been incurring about RM12 million losses per month since the first movement-control order (MCO).

There have been speculations that former Perak menteri besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu will be appointed as the next KTMB chairman. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, March 2, 2021.

Last week, Faizal, who is also Bersatu deputy president, said he will consult with Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin regarding his appointment as KTMB chairman.

“I heard that my name was proposed, but it has not been discussed with the prime minister.

“I initially wanted to only focus on politics and strengthen Bersatu to gear up for the general election,” he said.

The Tambun MP, however, said that should the prime minister announce the appointment, he will accept it.

“I also hope to be able to focus on my political career as well,” he said.

On December 5 last year, Faizal resigned as Perak MB after losing a confidence vote in the state assembly.

Faizal, who is also Chenderiang rep, lost a confidence vote in the 59-seat state assembly.

Ten voted for him, 48 against and one abstained. The motion was brought by Barisan Nasional assemblyman for Pengkalan Baru Abd Manap Hashim. – March 2, 2021.

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