Anthony Loke: Govt will only repay RM555m to LTAT for AES investment

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PUTRAJAYA (Aug 24): The Malaysian government will repay only RM555 million to the Armed Forces Fund Board for the board's investment in the Automated Enforcement System (AES) project. Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook said today the AES investment was a bad decision by the board, which is also known as Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT).

Loke said the repayment will not include the 12% annual return as promised by previous government under Barisan Nasional (BN). He said the current Pakatan Harapan government's proposed repayment to LTAT is not bound by any previous valuation on the AES project.

"We will sit down and discuss with LTAT. As far as the government is concerned, our position is that we will only repay RM555 million to LTAT, nothing more, nothing less. Because that was a bad decision by LTAT to take over (AES) in the first place.

"They thought the investment will be profitable, that is how the current chairman justifies it, they thought it was a good investment, but let LTAT members evaluate," Loke said at a press conference here today in conjunction with the announcement on the open bidding of the "Malaysia" special car registration plates.

Yesterday, theedgemarkets.com, quoting LTAT ex-chairman Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor, reported that the previous BN administration had proposed to take over the AES project from LTAT in November last year.

It was reported that the agreed takeover cost exceeds RM555 million, which is LTAT's original cost of investment to take over the project from two private companies.

Mohd Anwar was quoted as saying in a statement that the full agreed takeover price for the project by the BN government then, via the Ministry of Finance, was LTAT's full investment costs, plus a "12% return per annum" for the two and a half years that LTAT owned it.