- Update #2 – The visit to the depot will take place on Tuesday, 9 February at 10 am and is open to the media
- Update #1 – according to a post on the TRANSIT discussion forum, many of the buses have been moved or sold already.
TRANSIT took note of these two articles, announcing that the Public Accounts Committee of the Malaysian Parliament is going to inspect the two bus depots (Sg. Buaya and Serendah) where thousands of old Intrakota and CityLiner buses were left stored (left to rot, frankly) by Prasarana.
According to the articles, PAC Chair Azmi Khalid says that the PAC wants to inspect the buses, which were mentioned in the Auditor General’s 2008 Report, released last year.
The 2008 Auditor-General’s Report said that about 40% of 1,139 buses stored at Sungai Buaya and Serendah depots could still be utilised.
It also said that Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB), which took over CityLiner and Intrakota bus firms in a public transport restructuring exercise in 2004, should have conducted repairs on the buses and re-used various parts.
SPNB had said that the buses, which were between 10 and 15 years old at the time of acquisition, were being disposed of and replaced in stages
The issue of the abandoned buses has been discussed at length in the media but this is the first time that the government has showed that they are interested in investigating. Even complaints by former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed did not get the attention of the government – but the Auditor General’s 2008 report seems to have struck a chord among some parliamentarians.
As TRANSIT noted some years ago, Prasarana claims that the buses could not be salvaged and they had to be replaced with the buses sourced from China in 2005 & 2006.
However, the idea that Prasarana would let the buses go to rot so that someone could profiteer could not escape the mind of many Malaysians. It did not help that Dr. Mahathir and others made a connection between Malaysian bus builder Scomi Bus Sdn. Bhd. (a major manufacturer of buses in Malaysia) and then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
The question of whether the disposal of the buses was mismanaged or engineered for someone’s profit is probably never going to be (publicly) investigated by the MACC.
But the fact of the matter is, this is not Prasarana’s finest hour and TRANSIT certainly hopes that the current Board of Directors and Management is a lot wiser then before.
TRANSIT will follow up on this post if there is any further information.