KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 16): The Ministry of Transport (MoT) came out to defend the Railway Network Access Agreement (RNAA) today, saying it is not going to result in 4,000 job losses in Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB).
At the Parliament lobby today, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the RNAA, which was signed in December last year, is to allow KTMB to focus on rail operations and allow Railway Assets Corporation (RAC) to concentrate on maintenance works.
"No, the 4,000 jobs will not [be] lost, they will get an offer from RAC. In fact, we are creating new economic avenue with more new subsidiaries, so there will be more jobs to be offered, so I believe these 4,000 workers will be easily absorbed,” he said, adding RAC currently has about RM8 billion assets in terms of lands and rolling stocks.
“KTMB is upgrading its single track to double tracking ETS (electric train services), their capacity will increase by 10 times when completed, so we want to go on specialisation, we want KTMB to just concentrate on providing the service; now the issue is [that] KTMB also does the maintenance, so we want the infrastructure to be handled by RAC, our intention is to increase our service quality,” he explained.
By January 2018, Abdul Aziz said the RNAA will be fully implemented by having KTMB and RAC sign another three definitive agreements.
“One of the agreement is on handling the rolling stocks, second one is on financing and leasing the rolling stocks, because these [transferred] rolling stocks will be leased back to KTMB, and the last one is tackling with all the properties,” he said.
Railway Workers Union of Malaysia and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has voiced out their opposition stance on RNAA in December last year, due to fear of losing 4,000 jobs in KTMB.
The RNAA is an agreement entered between KTMB and Railway Assets Corp (RAC), a statutory body under MoT.
The agreement entails KTMB transferring all its rolling stocks and lands to RAC, and the latter will leaseback these assets to KTMB.
As a result, KTMB will be the rail service provider, while RAC will be the party conducting maintenance works for these assets.