Tajuddin sacked as Prasarana chairman after presser fiasco

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The Ministry of Finance has terminated the services of Tajuddin Abdul Rahman as the chairman of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd.

In a letter to Tajuddin, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said the removal was with immediate effect.

This comes after strong public criticism over his callous attitude at a press conference yesterday on the LRT train collision that took place on Monday night.

Minister of Finance Incorporated is the sole shareholder in Prasarana, which owns much of Malaysia’s public transport networks.

This includes the Kelana Jaya LRT line, which saw an accident on Monday when two trains collided, leaving dozens injured, six critically.

Zafrul’s letter to Tajuddin has been widely shared among media circles this evening.

Earlier, more than 100,000 individuals signed an online petition to demand for Tajuddin to step down as chairman of Prasarana, in just less than 24 hours since the petition was created.

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0) added its voice to those calling for the immediate resignation of Tajuddin.

Bersih 2.0 said Tajuddin’s unprofessional and incompetent conduct during yesterday’s press conference addressing the recent LRT train crash at the KLCC station showed the ill effects of unqualified political appointments in government-linked companies (GLCs).

The election reform watchdog described Tajuddin as clueless about the assistance to be provided to the crash victims and called him out for his seemingly insouciant attitude during the press conference.

“His unprofessional and unbecoming attitude shows that the appointment of politicians into GLCs will have serious effects, especially when the appointees are not qualified to lead important bodies such as Prasarana.

“It also doesn’t make sense for the country to waste tens of millions of ringgit just to keep politicians in the GLC so that some parties can maintain in power?

It is very clear that such political appointments do not benefit the people, and this should be changed immediately,” Bersih 2.0 said in a statement.

The Malaysian Public Transport Users Association (4PAM) also slammed Tajuddin for his conduct during the press conference yesterday.

Its president Ajit Johl said Tajuddin’s press conference was nothing short of rude and disgusting.

“He (Tajuddin) claimed that he was away in Subang, and could not reach the accident site, and received the information late.

“This clear disregard of passenger care is unbecoming of a chairman of an organisation, that involves transporting human lives daily,” Ajit said.

Earlier, Najib Razak said Tajuddin regretted his callous attitude at the press conference yesterday and would quit his post when instructed by his party, Umno.

“(Tajuddin) promised to resign at the appropriate time as instructed by the Umno Supreme Council during the party’s general assembly a few months ago,” Najib said on Facebook today.