Syarikat Prasarana Negara
|Type||Berhad / Public|
|Industry||public transportation operators|
|Headquarters||Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia|
Shahril Mokthar, Managing Director Dato' Mohammed Hazlan, Director of BusKhairani Mohamed, Director of Rail
|Products||public transportation operators|
Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (Prasarana) (English: "National Infrastructure Company Limited") is a 100% government-owned company which was set up to own the assets of several public transport services in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, under the government's move to restructure the city's public transport system. It also owns a fleet of buses used for a bus service in Penang state.
Prasarana owns the assets of two light rail transit (LRT) lines: Ampang Line and Kelana Jaya Line in Kuala Lumpur. The Ampang Line, comprising the Ampang and Sri Petaling Lines, were formerly known as Star-LRT (acronym for the former operator Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan Sdn Bhd) while the Kelana Jaya Line was formerly known as Putra-LRT (acronym for the former operator Projek Usahasama Transit Ringan Automatik Sdn Bhd). The two lines are operated by another specially created government-owned company Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd (Rapid KL). The Malaysian government took over the assets from their respective companies in 2002 after deeming them as failed privatisation projects.
Prasarana owns the fleet of buses which are operated by Rapid KL as part of the bus network in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang and several other towns in Selangor state in Malaysia. The fleets previously belonged to two private companies, Intrakota and Cityliner, which were taken over by Prasarana in 2004.
Prasarana also owns a fleet of 350 buses which are operated by Rapid Penang. The company started operations on 31 July 2007. The Malaysian government's move to operate bus services in Penang is part of efforts to revamp the bus network in the state.
Prasarana also owns and operates the cable car in Langkawi and operates it on behalf of the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA). The cable car bring people up Gunung Matcincang.
In December 2006, the Malaysian government and KL Infrastructure Group (KL Infra), the company which owns the KL Monorail started negotiations for the former to take over the assets and operations of the Kuala Lumpur monorail system. Prasarana gave its agreement in principle to the takeover of KL Monorail on 22 December 2006 and a follow-up meeting was held on 6 February 2007 with the Government on the takeover of its operational assets and assumption of loan liabilities. A due diligence audit was conducted from 5 March 2007 to 27 April 2007 by consultants appointed by the Government.
However, on 14 May 2007, receivers and managers were appointed for KL Monorail following KL Monorail's failure to settle an interest payment installment to Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad (BPMB) which resulted in the entire loan amount owing to the bank becoming due and remaining unpaid. Nevertheless, the takeover process was still deemed to be on-going with KL Infra stating that it will continue to engage the government and BPMB to address the proposed takeover of KL Monorail by Prasarana based on earlier discussions and an approval in principle.
On November 28, 2007, Prasarana signed a sale and purchase agreement with KL Monorail Systems Sdn Bhd, effectively making Prasarana the owner of KL Monorail. Prasarana will assume the RM882 million loan from Bank Pembangunan Malaysia
For more details on the takeover, see KL Monorail.
- Managing Director: Shahril Mokhtar
- Group Director of Bus Division & Chief Operating Officer of Bus: Dato' Mohamed Hazlan Mohamed Hussain
- Group Director of Rail: Khairani Mohamed
- Group Director of Infrastructure Development Division: Nor Hassan Ismail
- Group Director of Infrastructure Services Division: Zohari Sulaiman
- Group Director of Finance Division: Zooridah Haji Haron
- Group Director of Project Development Division: Zulkifli Mohamed Yusoff
- Group Director of Human Capital Division: Jaizal Kamar Jalaludin
- Group Director of Transport Planning and Commercial Division: V. Ravindran
Restructuring Klang Valley's public transport system
The need for the Klang Valley's public transport system to be restructured became apparent almost immediately after the LRT lines began commercial operations when their ridership was much lower than anticipated. This caused lower than expected revenue levels and the two LRT concessionaires, Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan Sdn Bhd (Star-LRT) and Projek Usahasama Transit Ringan Automatik Sdn Bhd (Putra-LRT), could not repay their commercial loans. The financial crisis of 1997/1998 aggravated the situation. The two companies owed a total of RM5.7bil as at November 2001 when the government's Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee (CDRC) restructured the debts of the two LRT companies.
The bus service in Kuala Lumpur was also facing problems with lower ridership because of an increase in private car usage and the lack of capital investments. The two new bus consortia which were formed in the mid 1990s to take over all bus services in Kuala Lumpur - Intrakota and Cityliner - began facing financial problems. Intrakota had reportedly accumulated losses amounting to RM450 million from the 1997/1998 financial crisis until Prasarana took over in 2003, and debts of more than RM250 million between 1994 and 2003. With lower revenues, bus operators could not maintain their fleets, much less invest in more buses. Frequencies and service deteriorated as buses began breaking down.
Because of this, public transport usage in the Klang Valley area dropped to about 16% of total trips, one of the lowest in the Asian region.
Setting up of Prasarana and RapidKL
As part of the restructuring process, the Malaysian government proposed to separate the ownership (thus capital expenditure) and operational aspects of public transport, with separate government-owned companies being set up for each purpose.
In 1998, Prasarana was incorporated to "facilitate, coordinate, undertake and expedite infrastructure projects approved by the Malaysian government". It took over the assets and operations of Star-LRT, Putra-LRT and Putraline feeder bus services in September 2002, changing the name Star-LRT to "Starline" and Putra-LRT to "Putraline". In 2003, Prasarana entered into agreements with Intrakota and Cityliner for the purchase of buses. The purchase was completed in 2004.
RapidKL, the second government-owned company under the restructuring, was set up in 2004 to handle the operational aspects of the assets owned by Prasarana. Prasarana handed over the operations of the two LRT lines and buses in November 2004.
Taking over of assets
Putra-LRT was incorporated in Malaysia on 15 February 1994 to design, construct, finance, operate and maintain the Klang Valley's LRT system, known today as the Kelana Jaya Line. The company, which was 100% owned by Renong Berhad, signed the concession agreement with the Malaysian government on 7 August 1995. To fund the project, Putra-LRT obtained a RM2 billion loan, comprising RM1 billion conventional facility and RM1 billion Islamic facility, from 27 Malaysian financial and non-financial institutions which was arranged by four major Malaysian financial institutions, Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd (CIMB), Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Bhd (BBMB), Commerce MGI Sdn Bhd (CMGI) and Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd (BIMB). The 27 institutions are the Employees Provident Fund, United Malayan Banking Corp Bhd, Perwira Affin Bank Bhd, Allied Bank (M) Bhd, Bank of Commerce (M) Bhd, DCB Bank Bhd, Eon Bank Bhd, Hock Hua Bank Bhd, Public Bank Bhd, BIMB, Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank Bhd, Arab-Malaysian Bank Bhd, Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd, Overseas Union Bank (M) Bhd, BBMB, Oriental Bank Bhd, Perwira Affin Merchant Bank Bhd, Bumiputra Merchant Bankers Bhd, Amanah Merchant Bank Bhd, Hock Hua Bank (Sabah) Bhd, Asian International Merchant Bankers Bhd, and Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd.
The takeover of Putra-LRT can be said to have started from 30 September 1999 when the payment of interest amounting to RM44,589,020.33 became due. Failure to pay resulted in the entire loan amount becoming due. At that time, Putra-LRT had already requested the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee of Malaysia's central bank, Bank Negara, to help restructure its debts. A proposal by the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee, which involved the government taking over the two LRT lines and then leasing them back to the two companies, was deemed not acceptable.
The restructuring began moving again when the government accepted the concept of setting up two separate government-owned companies, one to own and the other to operate public transport. The first step towards nationalisation of Putra-LRT took place on 26 November 2001 when Prasarana acquired all the rights, benefits and entitlements under the loan from Putra-LRT's and also Star-LRT's lenders (see below for takeover of Star-LRT). This effectively made Prasarana the creditor of Putra-LRT and Star-LRT. The loans owed by both companies stood at approximately RM5.7 billion at that time. The purchase consideration was satisfied via the issuance of RM5.468 billion fixed rate serial bonds by Prasarana guaranteed by the government to the respective Star-LRT and Putra-LRT lenders. According to the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee, the successful resolution of the debt restructuring of the two companies was estimated to have reduced the level of non-performing loans in the Malaysian banking system by RM2.9 billion or 0.7% on a net six-month basis. Commerce International Merchant Bankers Bhd was appointed as was appopinted as facility agent.
On 8 December 2001, Prasarana issued Putra-LRT with a notice of default and demanded payment of all outstanding amounts within 14 days. Putra-LRT replied on 24 December 2001 and informed Prasarana that it was not able to settle the amounts. It also requested the government to appoint another party or itself to purchase the assets of the company in accordance with the terms of the concession agreement between Putra-LRT and the government. A statutory demand, required under the Malaysian Companies Act 1965, was then issued by Prasarana on 26 December 2001 asking Putra-LRT to settle the amount owing within 21 days. Putra-LRT again replied on 17 January 2002 by saying that it was unable to settle the amounts owed and requested the government to take over. Winding up petitions were filed on 8 February 2002 and served on the company on 20 March 2002. On 26 April 2002, the Kuala Lumpur High Court made an order for the winding up of Putra-LRT and on the same date, appointed the Gan Ah Tee, Ooi Woon Chee and Mohamed Raslan Bin Abdul Rahman as liquidators. Earlier on 3 April 2002, the Malaysia Ministry of Finance had officially announced that the government via Prasarana was taking over the assets of both Putra-LRT and Star-LRT.
On 30 August 2002, Putra-LRT entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Prasarana for the sale of all its assets. The consideration for the sale consisted of the balance after the project cost of RM5,246,070,539 is offset by the amount of debt owed to Prasarana, plus the project cost from 1 April 2002 until 1 September 2002 which was set as the completion date of the sale, plus a sum of RM16,867,910 being the "unverified amount of project costs" which was subsequently verified by supporting documents. The entire cost of Prasarana taking over Putra-LRT's assets was reported to be RM4.5 billion.
Prasarana took over Putra-LRT assets and operations from 6.00 a.m. on 1 September 2002.
Details of the takeover of Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan Sendirian Berhad (abbreviated to Star-LRT), which operated what is known today as the Ampang Line, are a little more difficult to come when compared with the takeover of PUTRA-LRT because the company was not owned by any public listed company. The shareholders of Star-LRT, which was formed in 13 November 1991, were the Malaysian Employees Provident Fund (25%), Kuala Lumpur Transit Group Assets Sdn Bhd (a 50:50 joint venture between Germany’s AEG Pte Ltd, the electronics division of Daimler-Benz, and British construction firm Taylor-Woodrow) (30%), Lembaga Urusan Tabung Haji (Pilgrims’ Fund Board) (15%), Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (5%), Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (5%), STLR Sdn Bhd (5%) and Shell Malaysia/Sabah/Sarawak (5%), American International Assurance Co Ltd (10%), Apfin Investments Pte Ltd, the investment arm of the Singapore Government (5%). The 60-year concession agreement between Star-LRT and the Malaysian government for Phase One of the project (between Sultan Ismail and Ampang stations) was signed in 22 December 1992 while the separate concession agreement for Phase Two (between Chan Sow Lin and Sri Petaling stations, and Sultan Ismail and Sentul Timur stations) was signed in 26 June 1995. The cost of Phase One was RM1.2 billion and RM2.2 billion for Phase Two. Star-LRT raised loans amounting to RM800 million for Phase One and RM1.32 billion from Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Bhd for Phase Two.
In the late 1990s, Star-LRT, like Putra-LRT, also defaulted in its loan repayment and on 30 November 2001, the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee of Malaysia’s central bank Bank Negara announced that Prasarana had taken over the debts of Star-LRT together with that of Putra-LRT. The combined debt of both companies amounted to RM5.5 billion.
On 8 December 2001, Prasarana issued a letter of demand for a sum of RM1,045,681,273.83 owing as at that date pursuant to a facility agreement entered on 13 August 1993. There was however no reply. On 10 December 2001, another letter of demand was issued to Star-LRT for a sum of RMI,498,538,278.58 pursuant to a loan agreement dated 17 July 1995 for the financing of Phase Two of the project. On Dec 26, it served statutory notice of demand on STAR-LRT, again asking for the return of the sum and the company only managed to make part payment.
Two petitions to wind up Star-LRT were filed with the High Court on 21 February 2002 for the failure to pay RM1,051,509,127.16 as at 26 December 2001 for the first loan and the failure to repay the second loan amounting to RM1,506,385,705.28 as at 26 December. On 3 May 2002, the High Court appointed Gan Ah Tee, Ooi Woon Chee and Mohamed Raslan Abdul Rahman as temporary liquidators.
On 1 September 2002, Prasarana took over the assets and operations of Star-LRT. The takeover reportedly cost the government RM3.3 billion.
Intrakota Komposit Sendirian Berhad, a subsidiary of public-listed company DRB-Hicom Berhad, was one of two consortia picked in 1994 to run the city/stage bus service in Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding suburbs. The other company was Park May Berhad which operated its buses under the brandname Cityliner. Under the policy, Intrakota bought and took over the routes of two traditional Kuala Lumpur bus companies, namely SJ Kenderaan Sendirian Berhad (better known as Sri Jaya) and Toong Fong Omnibus Company Sendirian Berhad, one of Kuala Lumpur's first bus companies. Intrakota also took over most of Kuala Lumpur's minibus routes after the government terminated their services in 1998. All buses were branded as Intrakota.
The circumstances leading to Intrakota's financial difficulties could be blamed on the financial crisis of 1997/1998, the decreasing number of people using public transport and the failure by the government to implement the two-bus-consortia policy which resulted in unexpected competition.
In 1999, the Intrakota group of companies came under the purview of the government's Corporate Debt Reestructuring Committee and when the committee concluded its business in June 2002, Intrakota and its parent company DRB-Hicom continued negotiating with the government which eventually led to its buses being taken over by Prasarana.
The company's dire situation was clear when on 29 January 2003, creditors RHB Finance Berhad and RHB Delta Finance Berhad repossessed 34 of its buses. The buses were returned to Intrakota after several rounds of negotiations with the creditors. On the same day, it also revealed that it was being sued or a total of RM25,893,558.36 by AMMerchant Bank Berhad (RM11,234,839.93), Kewangan Bersatu Berhad (RM1,091,939.12) and Sogelease Advance (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad (RM13,566,786.31). Later, when restructuring the debt of Intrakota, DRB-Hicom declared that the company had an accumulated debt of RM258 million as at 30 June 2003, comprising a principal sum of RM188.2 million and interest amounting to RM69.8 million.
On 29 October 2003, Intrakota, together with its subsidiaries Intrakota Consolidated Berhad, SJ Kenderaan Sendirian Berhad, Toong Fong Omnibus Company Sendirian Berhad, Syarikat Pengangkutan Malaysia Sendirian Berhad and SJ Binteknik Sendirian Berhad, as well as another DRB-Hicom subsidiary Euro Truck and Bus (Malaysia) sendirian Berhad, entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Prasarana for the sale of their bus related assets for a total of RM176,975,604. The original acquisition costs of the assets were approximately RM557.4 million, which were acquired over a period of 9 years since 1994. The net book value of the assets as at 30 June 2003 was approximately RM269.9 million.
The sale of assets to Prasarana was completed on 5 May 2004. On the same day, Prasarana signed an interim operations and maintenance agreement with Intrakota Consolidated for the temporary operation of the bus network previously operated by Intrakota. The interim arrangement was terminated when Prasarana handed over the operations to RapidKL in November 2004.
In May 2008, the Malay Mail ran an article investigating the fate of the remaining Intrakota buses. 1,000 Iveco TurboCities that were originally purchased at a cost of RM0.5 million each were found abandoned in Batang Kali and Rawang, each only guarded by a single security personnel. Criticism was directed at RapidKL on what is seen as a 'wasteful exercise', the old buses being only 7 to 15 years old and more expensive than the newly purchased China buses by RapidKL.
The Cityliner buses involved in the takeover by Prasarana were those operated by two companies – Cityliner Sendirian Berhad and Len Chee Omnibus Company Sendirian Berhad – in Kuala Lumpur under the brand name “Cityliner”. The two companies were subsidiaries of previously public-listed Park May Berhad, which in turn was a subsidiary of Renong Berhad. Cityliner, which was incorporated in 30 August 1994, was wholly owned by Park May while Park May owned 85% of Len Chee.
In 1995, Cityliner took over routes previously operated by Len Omnibus Company Berhad, Selangor Omnibus Company Berhad and Foh Hup Transportation Company Berhad which were within a 15 km radius of the city center of Kuala Lumpur under the government’s policy of having two bus consortia to operate city buses in the Klang Valley. Len Chee was incorporated in 29 December 1937 and was one of the pioneer bus companies in Kuala Lumpur. It was bought over by Park May in 1995 under the same government policy.
Cityliner was also the brand name for bus services in parts of Seberang Perai, Penang; parts of Negeri Sembilan state; Kuantan, Pahang; and between Klang and Sabak Bernam in Selangor. These services, known as the “northern”, “southern”, “eastern" and "central groups” respectively, were not involved in the takeover by Prasarana.
Operating city or stage buses has always been Park May’s main business. However, the group, which also operates long-distance express bus services began making losses following tough operation circumstances, with city/stage bus operations contributing a huge proportion of these losses. Besides a reduction in the number of public transport users, the company also blamed the government's failure to implement its earlier policy of only having two bus consortia, one of which was Park May, to operate city buses in Kuala Lumpur for its financial difficulties. This began affecting its bus operations as lack of maintenance caused frequent breakdowns, resulting in unreliable service.
Park May, on 1 March 1999, applied to the Corporate Debt Restructuring Committee to seek the assistance to restructure its debts.
On 27 October 2003, Cityliner and Len Chee signed an asset sale and purchase agreement with Prasarana for the sale of 321 buses and 43 buses owned by Cityliner and Len Chee respectively for a total cash consideration of RM14,841,012. Of this amount, RM13,456,649 was to be used as part redemption of the commercial paper/medium term notes programme which was obtained on 23 January 2007, and RM1,220,000 was to go towards defraying the expenses of the sale to Prasarana. The sale was completed on 30 April 2004 for a total adjusted cash consideration of RM14,438,920 for 347 buses.
Upon completion of the sale, Prasarana appointed Kenderaan Mekar Murni Sdn Bhd, a subdiary of Kumpulan Kenderaan Malaysia Berhad, to operate the buses on an interim basis until it handed over operations to RapidKL in November. Under Park May's restructuring scheme, Kumpulan Kenderaan Malaysia ultimately instituted a reverse-takeover of Park May and assumed Park May's listed status under the new name Konsortium Transnasional Berhad.
- 11 August 1998: Prasarana incorporated to facilitate, coordinate, undertake and expedite infrastructure projects approved by the Malaysian government.
- 1 September 2002: Prasarana begins operations when it took over the ownership and operations of Star-LRT, Putra-LRT and the Putraline feeder bus services. It renamed Star-LRT Starline while Putra-LRT became known as Putraline.
- 6 January 2003: Prasarana takes over ownership and operations of the Langkawi Cable Car from Langkawi Cable Car Sdn Bhd. It forms Panorama Langkawi Sdn Bhd to operate the system.
- 27 October 2003: Prasarana buys Cityliner buses and routes from Park May Bhd. It then appoints Kenderaan Mekar Murni Sdn Bhd to operate the bus routes on an interim basis.
- 29 October 2003: Prasarana buys Intrakota buses from DRB-Hicom Bhd but allows Intrakota operating as interim operator.
- November 2004: Prasarana hands over operations of the LRT and bus network to Rapid KL.
- 13 October 2006: Prasarana signs an agreement with a Bombardier-Hartasuma joint venture for the purchase of 22 four-car train sets for the Kelana Jaya Line with an option to purchase an additional 13 train sets for RM1.2 billion. First 22 train sets to be delivered in 2008.
- 19 February 2007: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi announced that the bus network in Penang will undergo a revamp similar to that which occurred in Kuala Lumpur. A day later, Malaysian Finance Minister parliamentary secretary Hilmi Yahaya said the new entity will be named Rapid Penang.
- 25 February 2007: Malaysian Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop said 150, at a cost of RM50mil, will make their first appearance on Penang roads in August 2007. He said Rapid Penang will be a subsidiary of Rapid KL.
- 31 July 2007: RapidPenang begins operations, offering commuters free rides, after being launched by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The company started charging passengers three days later on 3 August 2007.
- 8 October 2007: Prasarana purchase additional 52 train sets from Bombardier, using options from 2006 purchase. Delivery expected in 2010.
- 27 November 2007: Prasarana signed a sales and purchase agreement with KL Monorail System Sdn Bhd to be the operator of KL Monorail. Prasarana will assume all KLMS Sdn Bhd loan to Bank Pembangunan of RM882 million
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- "Bursa Malaysia general announcement: DRB-Hicom Berhad ("DRB-Hicom") Action taken by RHB Bank Berhad and RHB Delta Finance Berhad against Intrakota Consolidated Berhad ("ICB"), effectively a 70% subsidiary of DRB-Hicom and litigation against ICB and DRB-Hicom". 30 January 2003.
- "Bursa Malaysia general announcement: Proposed scheme of arrangement of Intrakota Komposit Sdn Bhd, a 70% owned subsidiary company of DRB-Hicom, together with its subsidiary, Intrakota Consolidated Berhad". 27 May 2004.
- "Bursa Malaysia general announcement: Proposed disposal of bus related assets of Euro Truck & Bus (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd and Intrakota Komposit Sdn Bhd and certain of its subsidiary companies to Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad, completion date of the sale & purchase agreement". 6 May 2004.
- KL's bus graveyard, The New Paper, 23 May 2008
- "Bursa Malaysia General Announcement: Proposed disposal of 364 buses owned by Cityliner Sdn Bhd ("Cityliner"), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Park May, and Len Chee Omnibus Company Sdn Bhd ("Len Chee"), an indirect 85.4%-owned subsidiary of Park May, to Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad ("Prasarana"), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance (Incorporated) ("MOF Inc."), for a total cash consideration of RM14,841,012 ("proposed disposal")". 27 October 2003.
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