Prasarana to file report with MACC, SSM over Saudi train project

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Prasarana Malaysia Bhd will lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) over the Makkah Metro rail project in Saudi Arabia.

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In a statement, it said this came after its audit and forensic investigations into its involvement in the maintenance and operation of the Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddassah Makkah Metro Southern Line (MMMSL) project from 2015 to 2018.

“On April 16, 2015, Prasarana, through its subsidiary Prasarana Integrated Management and Engineering Services Sdn Bhd (PRIME), was awarded a three-year contract to operate and maintain the line, taking over from China Railway Construction Consortium.

“The project caused Prasarana to incur audited losses amounting to 417 million Saudi riyals (about RM450.8 million) for the financial year ending Dec 31, 2019,” it said.

Prasarana chairman Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said the board of directors had been briefed by the audit risk committee on the matter, adding that the company remained committed to practising good governance, transparency and accountability.

“There are grounds for Prasarana to take this matter up with the authorities for proper investigations and ensuing legal actions to commence,” he said.

Prasarana said the decision to file the report came after the 18-month audit and probe, including an audit review by PricewaterhouseCoopers, which reviewed the project’s pre and post-tender award process.

It also reviewed the overall execution of the company’s contractual obligations, the execution of maintenance, repair and overhaul issues involving spare parts in the project, and the involvement of its then officers and board members, Rapid Rail Sdn Bhd as well as PRIME.

Tajuddin said its internal probe was challenging as many key officers involved had left Prasarana, PRIME or Rapid Rail, while investigators needed to go through many documents transferred from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia.

“Moving forward, a board investment committee has been established to look into Prasarana’s major investment and business ventures,” he said.

In 2015, Prasarana managed to secure the three-year contract worth RM911 million to manage and operate the MMMSL train.

After the project was found to have caused losses to the company from year to year, Prasarana launched an internal audit of the project once the contract was concluded in 2018.

In July 2017, then Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli had said Prasarana was recording massive financial losses from operating and maintaining the line. He had estimated the company would lose up to RM142 million from 2015 to May 2018. – FMT