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A Business as Usual ‘RM 33.4 Million Remuneration Package’for Puncak Niaga’s Tan Sri ...

Posted: 02 Jul 2013 12:17 PM PDT


In all these years of debt, bailout and inefficiency, Rozali's remuneration increased. In 2009 he was paid RM14 million, in 2011 he received RM8.35 million and in 2012 he took home a whopping RM33.4 million. 

Charles Santiago 

We have certainly come a long way.

Tomorrow, the Federal Court will hear a landmark case lodged by the Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP). The case seeks to compel the federal government and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn. Bhd (Syabas) to publicly disclose their 2004 agreement and audit report that justified a 15% hike in water rates.

While on one hand this case marks a significant milestone for the raykat's access to information and transparency on the issue of water management, on the other hand, it seems to be business as usual for Puncak Niaga.

On 26 June 2013, shareholders of Puncak Niaga Holdings Berhad, which owns 70% of Syabas, learnt that its Executive Chairman, Rozali Ismail, would receive a RM20 million gratuity as part of its remuneration package.

In fact, shareholders were told that Rozali was paid RM 33.4 in remuneration for the 2012 financial year period. This would be a four-fold increase from RM 8.35 million in 2011.
Focus Malaysia has quoted Syabas' Ruslan  Hassan as justifying that Rozali was paid RM1 million for each of his 19 years in service, summing up  that the total amount paid is a rounded up figure.

Also, Puncak Niaga extended Rozali term as the Executive Chairman for another five years. This raises questions on the purpose of the gratuity payment in the first place.
While it is within Puncak Niaga's legal right to pay whatever it wants to its directors, such excessive remuneration is by no means an ethical and responsible decision given that water is a public good.

This is because:

(1) At a time when the management of water in Selangor was facing a water "crisis" due to Puncak Niaga's and Syabas' incompetence, its directors were being rewarded handsomely. RM20 million could be used to upgrade and better maintain Puncak Niaga's and Syabas' infrastructure, and to reduce non-revenue water (NRW);

(2) When the company was in dire straits at the end of 2011, the federal government, via the wholly owned subsidiary of Pengurusan Aset Air Bhd (PAAB) – Acqua SPV Bhd, bailed out Puncak Niaga by acquiring its RM328.12 million debt instrument.

(3) Of the numerous preferential loans given by the government, such as the RM320.8 million back-loaded interest free unsecured soft loan given in 2009.

(4) The company has an escalating debt which is at an astronomical figure of RM5.66 billion as of last year, a sharp increase from the amount posted in 2008, at RM4.46 billion.

In all these years of debt, bailout and inefficiency, Rozali's remuneration increased. In 2009 he was paid RM14 million, in 2011 he received RM8.35 million and in 2012 he took home a whopping RM33.4 million.

Why is he being rewarded for incompetence, poor management and at the expense of taxpayers' funds via the bailouts?  It raises serious concerns about the merit of Rozali's gratuity.
And could there be a conflict of interest and breach in corporate governance in determining Rozali's remuneration?

It is no secret that he was the treasurer of UMNO Selangor, while the chairman of Puncak Niaga's remuneration committee, Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak is also an UMNO member. Furthermore, he sits on the International Affairs Bureau of the UMNO Supreme Council.

The remuneration committee also includes Dr Ting Chew Peh, who is the former MCA Secretary-General.

This is clearly a text-book example of using political cronies to take home a fat remuneration, or in this case, a gratuity payment.
At a time when the global masses are questioning the role and responsibilities of corporations, Puncak Niaga and Rozali continue to operate with almost no fear of accountability.

I call upon the Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN) to investigate 1) whether public funds were used to enrich politically linked individuals i.e. gratuity package; 2) and  if it constitutes an abuse of public funds as Puncak Niaga is a recipient of state loans and bailouts and to take the necessary actions.
Charles Santiago
Member of Parliament, Klang

Co-ordinator of Coalition Against Water Privatisation (CAWP). 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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