KUALA LUMPUR: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) has an accumulated loss of RM2.829bil as of Dec 31 last year, according to the second series of the Auditor-General’s Report 2018.
It was among the audit findings, where the loss was due to, among others, KTMB not being given the freedom yet to make its own decisions, particularly on the company’s operations and usage of assets.
“This indirectly contributes to the less stable financial position of KTMB as it relies solely on train tickets.
“KTMB is also bound by the government’s current policy, especially in determining the rate of the train fares,” the report said.
On the performance of the train activities, the report found that two major activities, namely the inter-city and Komuter trains, recorded losses of between RM39.82mil and RM77.76mil from 2016 to July 2019.
The commuter train service contributed the highest revenue to KTMB from 2015 to 2017 but still recorded losses after deducting its operating expenses, the report added.
The report also found weaknesses in the performance and implementation of the commuter train service, such as the number of passengers and revenue from commuter trains not reaching the desired efficiency level.
“The actual number of passengers and revenue showed a drop since 2016 to July 2019. Another weakness is due to the delay in completing the Klang Valley Electrified Double Track (KVDT) project.
“It disrupted the daily routine of the passengers (74.2%) and some passengers switched to other modes of transportation (62.6%).
“Also, the longest waiting time for the commuter train is 256 minutes (four hours, 16 minutes) compared to 45 minutes as set by the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad),” it said.
The report also found inefficient maintenance of the commuter train sets as such works were not carried out according to schedule.
The audit also found significant weaknesses in the new ticketing system as there were 36,860 complaints lodged from December 2016 to July 2019.
Generally, based on the scope of the audit, the report concluded that the objectives of the establishment of KTMB through the corporatisation of KTM had yet to be fully realised.
However, the report found that KTMB’s corporate governance was satisfactory, but improvements have to be made in several areas.
Among the recommendations are for the management model of KTMB as a corporate company to be reviewed so that it is not restricted to make decisions on its operations, in line with KTM’s privatisation objectives.
Other recommendations include for KTMB to ensure the KVDT project is completed according to schedule and to work closely with the Transport Ministry to avoid delays in its commuter train service and further losses. — Bernama