The Star: ‘Two firms involved in DRT project planning’

KLANG: The Selangor state government has reiterated that Asia Mobility Technologies Sdn Bhd is not the sole company involved in its Demand-Responsive Transit (DRT) services plan.

Selangor executive councillor for investment, trade and mobility Ng Sze Han issued a statement yesterday stressing that another company Badan Bas Coach Sdn Bhd (Badan Bas) was also appointed together with Asia Mobility Technologies.

He said his media statement was aimed at clearing some misunderstanding regarding the matter.

“Firstly, the belief that only one company, Asia Mobility Technologies, is involved is not true.

“The process of involvement of both the companies to participate in a proof of concept (POC) was through a Request-for-Proposal (RFP) and not through direct negotiations as alleged by certain quarters,’’ he said.

(A POC is a trial run of sorts whereby evidence is gathered to evaluate and support the efficacy of a project before full implementation while an RFP is documentation which explains about a project as well as what is required for it when in search of companies suitable to do the job.)

A furore broke out recently over Asia Mobility Technologies’ appointment as the company’s chief executive officer and co-founder is Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh’s husband Ramachandran Muniandy.

Ng added that the state government had involved only Asia Mobility Technologies and Badan Bas because they were the only companies licensed by the Land Public Transport Agency (Apad) to operate a “bus-on-demand” service POC.

He said the committee, set up by the state government (to oversee the project), had decided to involve both companies on equal footing in the POC process to prevent a single company from monopolising the test process.

“The POC licence granted by Apad to both companies is only valid until Aug 31, 2024, and not for decades and is not automatically renewable.

“This is the basis of the state committee’s decision to fix the time frame for the POC for only nine months from November 2023 to July 2024,’’ Ng said.

He said this meant that the time allocated for the POC would end before the Apad licence issued to both companies expires.

He explained that Ramachandran’s company was given the contract for the POC because the state committee’s decision was based on the company’s ability to do the job following Apad’s nod.Ng added that the other company, Badan Bas, participating in the POC, was a bumiputra entity founded by former Konsortium Transnasional Bhd chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh.

“Earlier this month the state government received a proposal from another company Kumpool Sdn Bhd, which has also received a POC licence from Apad,” he said.

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