Selangor exco clears the air on the DRT project

Selangor State Investment, Trade, and Mobility Committee chairman Ng Sze Han said the notion that only one company, Asia Mobility Sdn. Bhd is involved in demand responsive transit (DRT) pilot project is incorrect. 

“In reality, two companies are involved in the bus-on-demand proof of concept in Selangor: Asia Mobility Sdn. Bhd. and Badan Bas Coach Sdn. Bhd,” he said in a statement. 

Ng was responding to the demands of Urimai chairman P. Ramasamy’s to have Hannah’s head rolling.

Ramasamy alleged that the Selangor government contract for the DRT pilot project was awarded through direct negotiations to Asia Mobility Sdn Bhd, a company co-owned by Hannah’s husband, M Ramachandran.

Ng said the involvement of these two companies in the proof of concept (POC) stage was done through a Request-for-Proposal (RfP) process, not direct negotiation as claimed by some parties.

“The decision to involve only these two companies, Asia Mobility and Badan Bas, was made because when the State Government decided to start the bus-on-demand proof of concept process, only these two companies were licensed by the federal agency, the Land Public Transport Agency (APAD), to participate in the proof of concept,” he said. 

He said the State Government’s committee decided to involve both companies equally in the proof of concept process to prevent one company from monopolizing the testing process and to allow the people of Selangor to evaluate the effectiveness, comfort, and service level provided.

The POC licenses granted by APAD to the two companies are valid only until August 31, 2024, and are not automatically renewable. 

The committee has set the POC period from November 2023 to July 2024, ensuring it ends before the licenses expire.

“Regarding questions about why M Ramachandran, the husband of Youth and Sports Minister Puan Hannah Yeoh, was awarded a state contract, it is important to note that the committee’s evaluation was based on the company’s capability, which passed the initial screening by APAD and was subsequently approved to join the proof of concept.

“Additionally, another company associated with a well-known Malay businessman experienced in this industry, Badan Bas Coach Sdn. Bhd., founded by Tan Sri Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, was also given the same opportunity to support the State Government’s public transport efforts, aiming to provide van and minibus services to Selangor residents at reasonable prices and costs,” he said.

Kumpool to join DRT

He also said that earlier this month, the state government received a proposal from another company, Kumpool Sdn. Bhd., which has received APAD’s approval to join the proof of concept.

He added this proposal is currently under evaluation for possible inclusion in the next phase.

“The state government is confident that the Request for Proposal evaluation process and the decision to involve these companies were conducted prudently, based on strong grounds, and in compliance with existing legal conditions and guidelines. 

“This administration is also prepared to present the entire evaluation process to the authorities as a commitment to transparency and accountability, especially in matters involving state expenditure,” he added. 

Earlier today DAP Wanita chief Teo Nie Ching defended Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh amid scrutiny over the DRT project managed by Asia Mobility Sdn Bhd.

READ ALSO: DAP Wanita launches HerLead to boost female participation in politics, leadership