TRANSIT took note of this article in the Star newspaper, which came as a surprise given that we had not heard many complaints about bus service in Seremban.
Seremban council takes over bus terminal (The Star)
5 May 2010
THE Seremban Municipal Council (MPS), unhappy with the management of the Terminal 1 bus and taxi stations in Seremban, has taken over the running of the complex effective May 1.
Its president, Datuk Abd Halim Abd Latif, said the contract of Panji Timor — the company entrusted to manage the complex over the past 15 years — was not renewed as the council wanted to give the place a facelift.
“There are about 1,000 bus trips from Seremban to all parts of the country every day. We need to upgrade the facilities such as providing an air-conditioned waiting area so that commuters can travel conveniently,” he told reporters.
Terminal 1 has 1,400 parking bays and 70 bus bays.
Abd Halim said the council entered into an agreement to manage the complex with Panji Timor in 1995 and this expired last November. However, this was renewed monthly till last Saturday.
“There is no dispute in the matter as MPS has always been the owner of the complex.
“We had a series of discussions with the previous management where we stated our intention to take over the running of the complex.
“Let the MPS full council decide who should be awarded the tender to manage the complex later,” he said.
Abd Halim said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had on his last visit to Terminal 1 commented on the need to upgrade the facilities.
“The minister told us that improving public transportation is one of the National Key Result Areas (NKRA) set up by the Prime Minister. We are merely heeding the minister’s advice,” he said.
At a separate press conference later, a representative from Panji Timor Abd Baith Ab Rahman said MPS could not terminate the company’s contract as the Terminal 1 project was carried out on a joint venture basis in 1993.
He said even if this was done, MPS was only entitled to 7,900 sq metres of the 40,000 sq metres of space at the terminal.
“We spent RM24mil to build the terminal then. We are entitled to the rest of the complex,” he said.
Abd Baith said the old terminal had only 30 bus bays and 20 taxi parking lots. The new complex, which took over a year to build, has 70 bus bays and 80 parking lots for taxis.
“In short, MPS is only entitled to the ground floor which is the bus terminal and a section of one floor which makes up the taxi stand. The rest of the 11 floors belongs to us,” he said.
Abd Baith also chided MPS for not discussing the matter with them.
“They (MPS) just gave us a notice saying that the contract will not be renewed. Our employees were also told on the eve of Workers’ Day that they may lose their jobs due to this and this is most unbecoming,” he added.
Abd Baith said Panji Timor might seek a legal recourse if MPS did not rescind its decision to take over the management of the Terminal 1 complex.
He also claimed that Panji Timor paid the council RM720,000 a year for the Terminal 1 complex.
We were obviously surprised to hear this news and even more surprised when we read the details of the story and the views of both sides.
Clearly there is more going on behind the scenes of public transport than any of us have ever assumed.
Somehow we think that there may be more to come in this story – so stay tuned.