Likely Early Departure of Prasarana Chief over LRT3 Additional Funding

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Prasarana president and group chief executive officer Masnizam Hisham may have her tenure cut short over the prior high costs for the LRT3 project.

  • Previous BN government said RM9 billion to construct + RM1 billion for land acquisitions = RM10 billion
  • Prasarana sought additional RM22 billion funding = RM32 billion
  • Pakatan slashed to RM16.63 billion

Masnizam has been with the state-owned transportation company for 12 years but had only assumed the top post in January, and was signed for a three-year term.

Citing sources, The Edge Financial Daily reported that her resignation is “inevitable” as it was under her watch that Prasarana sought RM22 billion in additional funding from Putrajaya for LRT3.

“It is expected that she will leave soon. She was the CEO when Prasarana asked for more money (for LRT3) and it was not a small sum. Some people also say that she was instructed to do it – to raise money,” a source was quoted as saying.

The previous Barisan Nasional administration had said that the LRT3 project would cost RM9 billion to construct, with an additional RM1 billion for land acquisitions.

However, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng of the new Pakatan Harapan-led government announced on July 10 that the cost of the 37-kilometre-long rail line had since spiralled to a whopping RM31.65 billion, blaming it on Prasarana’s poor management.

Guan Eng also revealed that Prasarana sought an additional financing of RM22 billion in the form of government guarantees on March 30, on top of the initial RM10 billion granted in 2015 to finance the project.

The Transport Ministry noted that project operator Prasarana had placed orders for specifications “well above necessary requirements” and had thus requested additional funding.

On July 12, the government announced that the LRT3 project will continue after reducing the total cost to RM16.63 billion.

Masnizam was previously CEO of Prasarana Integrated Management and Engineering Services Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prasarana.

She has served Prasarana for 12 years from 2005 as the head of legal division and as company secretary at RapidKL. Among other positions Masnizam has held at Prasarana are group head of the procurement division and head of strategic communications and marketing division, as well as head officer of infrastructure services.

Related reports:

Jul 12, LRT3 Back on Track with Final Price Cut by 47% to RM16.63B

Jul 11, LRT3 Cost Tripled to RM31B, Not Feasible Unless Drastic Cut Made