• Mismatch in demand and supply of civil service positions shows that many Malaysians have not escaped from the middle income trap

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Member of Parliament for Serdang, on the 24th of August 2016

    Mismatch in demand and supply of civil service positions shows that many Malaysians have not escaped from the middle income trap

    When the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) was first launched in 2010, one of its key performance indicators was the creation of an additional 3.3 million jobs by 2020 over 60 percent of which will be in the medium-income or high income salary brackets. Last week, PEMANDU CEO, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, was reported as saying that Malaysia has moved out of the middle income trap.[1] A deeper analysis and understanding of some of the job figures say otherwise.

    If the ETP was successful in creating a vibrant and growing economy that is driven by the private sector, this should result in the creation of many desirable and well-paying jobs in the private sector. But according to figures released by the Public Service Commission (or Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Awam (SPA)), the demand for public sector jobs is at an unbelievable high level and far outstrips the supply of such jobs.

    From 2011 to 2015, the SPA received more than 1 million applications for jobs in the civil service. This figure reached a high of 2.1 million in 2013 before falling to 1.59m in 2014 and increasing to 1.63m in 2015 (See Table 1 below). These are very high figures especially considering that the number of civil servants in Malaysia was 1.6m in 2015. While jobs in the civil service will continue to be desirable because of job security and other perks (such as medical care, various allowances and government pensions), this high demand is an indicator that the private sector is not offering enough well-paying jobs to stem the demand for public sector jobs.

    What should be equally worrying is that the number of civil service jobs being offered has decreased from 46,503 in 2011 to 30,964 in 2015. This means that only a small handful of applications are successful in entering into the civil service and this % has decreased from 4.1% in 2011 to 1 mere 1.9% in 2015. This raises the question of what jobs the unsuccessful applicants end up doing.

    Among those successful applicants, a majority (plurality, in some years) of them have only up to a certificate level qualification at most. For example, in 2015, 54% of the successful applicants were hired for jobs which required only a PMR, SPM or Certificate level qualification (See Table 2 below).

    This is a clear indicator that those who desire civil service jobs the most are also those with the lowest qualifications. This is not surprising given that many jobs at the bottom of the economic ladder have been taken up by foreign labour. The only place where foreign labour cannot hold jobs is in the civil service, hence the high number of applications and also appointments at this level.

    This can be seen from the statistics from job application for specific jobs which are taken from the Public Service Commission website.[2] Chart 1 shows the applications and appointments for the position of a general assistant at the Grade 11 level which pays approximately RM1200 as a monthly salary and requires a minimum of PMR as an academic qualification. There were 87281 applicants for 16 positions (0.02%).

    Chart 2 shows the number of applicants and appointments for the position of a food preparation assistant at the Grade 17 level which pays approximately RM1400 as a monthly salary and requires a minimum of SPM as an academic qualification. There were 65041 applications for 24 positions (0.04%).

    Chart 3 shows the applications and appointments for the position of an IT officer at the Grade 41 level which pays approximately RM2300 a month and requires a minimum of a degree as an academic qualification. There were 17895 applicants for 61 positions (0.34%).

    Charts 1 to 3 shows that the demand for public sector jobs far outstrips supply and that the mismatch between demand and supply is at its most acute at the level which requires the lowest academic qualification.

    From a GDP per capita standpoint, Malaysia may have escaped the middle income trap. But those who have benefitted from this increase are the top 20% to 30% with high wages and also businesses which earn large profits but don’t share their earnings with their workers, especially those at the bottom of the ladder.

    For the bottom 40%, the struggle to get out of the middle income trap continues and many of them are still hoping to obtain the security of a public sector job which are becoming more and more scarce.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    Chart 1: Applications for General Assistant Grade 11

    Chart 2: Applications for Food Preparation Assistant N17

    Chart 3: Applications for an IT officer Grade 41

    [1] http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/08/17/idris-jala-malaysia-no-longer-in-middle-income-trap/

    [2] http://online.spa.gov.my/online/index.php. It is possible that some of the applicants would have applied for multiple jobs thereby inflating the application statistics e.g. people who apply for the N41, N17 and even N11 jobs. If this was the case, it would only highlight the lack of opportunity in the job market if even those who are qualified to apply for graduate level entry positions would also want to apply for positions which only require a SPM or PMR qualification.

  • 马来西亚的公共交通费用比新加坡更昂贵的五大原因



    在新加坡,从东边的巴西立(Pasir Ris)地铁站前往西边的先驱(Pioneer)地铁站的票价大约是一趟2块新币。反之,在马来西亚,从鹅麦轻快铁站(Gombak-KJ1)前往太子高原(Putra Heights-KJ37)轻快铁站的票价大约则是一趟6.10令吉。[2] 相比之下,以同样单位货币为基准,为什么马来西亚的票价是新加坡的三倍之多?[3] 要回答这个复杂的问题并非易事,但我想提出几种可能的说法来分析上述的差异现象。

    1) 国家基建公司(Prasarana)无法盈利且长时间累积大量的亏损


    成立于1998年,目的是为了接管STAR(安邦线)轻快铁和Putra(布特拉线)轻快铁的国家基建公司只在1999年和2000年有取得盈利,却在过去的17 年期间持续地亏损了15年。在2014年,它的年度亏损甚至达到了历史纪录的8.856亿令吉。相比之下,新加坡地铁(SMRT)和新捷运(SBST)分别在过去的16年和6年期间取得盈利。[4]  (请参阅下图一)







    2) 国家基建公司(Prasarana)因债务规模高而必须承担非常高的融资成本






    在可见的未来,由于其债务规模的持续增加,我们会很难想象2015年底的车票涨价会有助于国家基建公司(Prasarana)改善其盈利的表现。截至2016年4月份,国家基建公司(Prasarana)的债务已经增加至超过200亿令吉,意味着这必定进一步地提高其融资成本。[7] 因此,对于那些认为轻轨或巴士车票将会维持不涨的人可能先别开心得太早!

    3) 国家基建公司(Prasarana)的非车票收入来源相对比较少



    实际上,国家基建公司(Prasarana)也雄心勃勃地想通过国家基建公司综合开发私人有限公司(PRIDE)来开发房地产相关的收入来源。[9] 他们的目标是为了在2020年前实现非车票收入占总收入的50巴仙。[10] 类似使用产业开发来对冲地铁运营和资本开销的作法其实是借鉴香港的模式经验。基于国家基建公司(Prasarana)目前的财务状况,这未免不是不明智的举措,但却要谨慎地避免房地产开发会分散国家基建公司(Prasarana)成为公共交通运营者的注意力。

    4) 陆路公共交通委员会(SPAD)监管我国票价方面表现得非常差劲



    新加坡建立了所谓拥有规范铁路和巴士票价权力的公共交通理事会(PTC)的法定机构。[11] 它与陆路交通管理局(LTA)(类似新加坡的SPAD)的工作独立分开但合作关系密切。自2013年来,公共交通理事会(PTC)每年都会根据公开的计算方程式(包括通货膨胀,工资的调整和能源的成本)进行票价检讨的工作来调整巴士和铁路票价。[12] 这不仅是一个更加透明来决定票价结构的方式,在某些情况下,例如去年12月由于能源价格的下降,这种计算方式也会导致出现票价被调低的结果。[13] 在一般的情况下,票价调整都是控制在小幅度的范围里进行,以避免公共交通使用者遭受票价调涨宣布的打击。


    5) 马来西亚政府并不想要直接注资参与公共交通基础设施


    新加坡一直想要尝试新的模式,即政府将拨款给兴建公共交通资产如火车铁轨,车厢,而另一个独立运营业者如新加坡地铁(SMRT)则将负责经营这些资产相关的服务。根据新铁路融资方案(NRFF)最新的进展,政府将收购新加坡地铁(SMRT)所有的运营资产,然后和新加坡地铁(SMRT)签下一个长期合同,以便经营和操作这些捷运服务。[14] 这意味着业者可以完全专注于打理捷运的日常运作,而不必担心未来要支付新的车厢或开发新的路线。政府也能从此受益,因为可以向业者的质量和服务效率提出更严格的标准,并对有不达标的业者进行罚款。


    其中一个主要的原因是,马来西亚政府基于自己的财政预算立场并不希望直接为这些公共交通计划的兴建成本埋单。马来西亚自1998年的亚洲金融危机以来就出现预算赤字(请参阅下图四)。为了确保外国投资者相信国家债务是处于可控的水平,政府已经喊话想在2020年之前将预算赤字降低至零,并将债务占GDP的比例控制在55巴仙之下。这意味着是公共基础设施计划的融资成本便得转移到如国家基建公司(Prasarana)国有企业的身上。 国家基建公司(Prasarana)的债务并不会被列入马来西亚政府债券记录,这也意味着政府可以继续假装预算赤字是处于减少的结果。这个“假装”所要付出的代价就是,国家基建公司(Prasarana)将被迫从其他管道如向公众调涨票价来提高整体的收入。






    第二,我们需要进一步地检查(MRT Co. )捷运公司(双溪毛糯至加影(SBK)捷运1号线的拥有者)和其路线的运营业者-国家基建公司(Prasarana)之间的商业关系,以便鉴定国家基建公司(Prasarana)和MRT Co双方的彼此的盈利能力。

    捷运公司(MRT)没有直接承担SBK捷运路线的兴建成本。另一个名为Dana Infra的独立特殊目的实体(SPV)已发行拥有政府担保的债券来支付其兴建成本。捷运公司(MRT)近期也与国家基建公司(Prasarana)的子公司-快捷通轨道(Rapid Rail)签订了为期10年的租赁合约,以便允许它经营第一个捷运(MRT)路线。[16] 所有票价的收入将进入快捷通轨道(Rapid Rail)的口袋,而广告和场地租金的收益则归捷运公司(MRT)所有。如果国家基建公司(Prasarana)的经营表现优异,有望能通过捷运公司(MRT)合约来减少其亏损,并降低未来调涨票价的压力。



    [1] Data for Prasarana taken from its annual returns to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), data for SMRT and SBST taken from their annual reports which are available on their website.

    [2] RM6.10 is for a cash token. A cashless token costs RM5.30.

    [3] There is no point to convert from RM to SGD or vice versa because we want to know how much a Malaysian would pay to take public transportation in Malaysia versus how much a Singapore would pay to take public transportation in Singapore. Bear in mind also that Singapore’s GDP per capita is 5 times that of Malaysia’s.

    [4] Pre 2009 data was not available in the SBST website.

    [5] For a more thorough discussion of the Sunway BRT project, please refer to the following report by Penang Institute: http://penanginstitute.org/v3/research/penang-institute-in-kuala-lumpur/the-sunway-bus-rapid-transit-brt-line-lessons-for-the-future

    [7] http://www.ram.com.my/pressReleaseView.aspx?ID=347ff69a-f151-482d-b0a9-0ae287cf9f70

    [8] SMRT’s non fare revenue includes revenue from the rental of taxis.

    [9] http://www.myrapid.com.my/corporate/our-business/core-business/pride

    [10] http://themalaysianreserve.com/new/story/prasarana-move-boost-non-fare-revenue

    [11] http://www.ptc.gov.sg/about/overview.htm

    [12] https://www.ptc.gov.sg/regulation/annualFareReviewProcess.htm

    [13] http://www.ptc.gov.sg/FactsAndFigures/chronologyOfFareAdjustments.htm

    [14] http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/government-and-smrt-reach-agreement-on-new-rail-financing-framework

    [15] http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/government-and-smrt-reach-agreement-on-new-rail-financing-framework

    [16] http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/07/02/mrt-corp-rapid-rail-sign-mrt-handing-over-deal/

  • 5 sebab mengapa pengangkutan awam di Malaysia lebih mahal berbanding Singapura

    Kenyataan Media oleh Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Ahli Parlimen Serdang pada 9 Ogos 2016

    5 sebab mengapa pengangkutan awam di Malaysia lebih mahal berbanding Singapura[1]

    Tambang perjalanan dari stesen MRT Pasir Ris di selatan Singapura menghala ke stesen MRT Pioneer di barat Singapura adalah berharga SGD2. Namun tambang sejumlah RM6.10 pula diperlukan bagi perjalanan dari stesen LRT Gombak (KJ1) ke Putra Heights (KJ37).[2] Mengapakah tambang LRT di Malaysia 3 kali ganda mahal berbanding Singapura (dari segi asas ‘dollar to dollar’)?[3] Jawapan kepada persoalan ini agak rumit, namun saya akan menghuraikan beberapa sebab yang mungkin untuk fenomena ini.

    1) Prasarana tidak dapat mengaut keuntungan malahan telah makin mengumpul kerugian

    Prasarana Malaysia Berhad merupakan syarikat 100% milik Kementerian Kewangan yang memiliki dan mengendalikan LRT dan aset bas di Lembah Klang, iaitu MyRAPID (juga di Pulau Pinang, Kuantan dan Kamunting). Di Singapura, operasi perkhidmatan kereta api dikendalikan oleh SMRT manakala perkhidmatan bas pula dikendalikan oleh SBS Transit (walaupun terdapat persaingan yang terhad antara kedua-dua syarikat ini).

    Sejak Prasarana ditubuhkan pada 1998 bagi mengambil alih aset STAR dan LRT PUTRA, syarikat tersebut hanya berupaya menjana keuntungan selama 2 tahun, iaitu pada 1999 dan 2000. Ia telah mengalami kerugian sebanyak 15 daripada 17 tahun. Kerugian tahunan mencecah rekod tertinggi pada 2014 dengan jumlah RM 885.6 juta. Sebaliknya, SMRT mencatatkan keuntungan untuk setiap tahun bagi 16 tahun lepas manakala SBST mencatatkan keuntungan untuk setiap tahun bagi 6 tahun yang lepas.[4] (Lihat Rajah 1 di bawah)

    Carta 1: Perbandingan keuntungan/ kerugian Prasarana di Malaysia dan SMRT & SBST di Singapura

    Berdasarkan ini, tidak mengejutkan bahawa Prasarana mengumpulkan jumlah kerugian sebanyak RM5.182 bilion pada tahun kewangan 2014 berbanding SMRT dan SBST yang masing-masing mengumpulkan keuntungan sebanyak SGD741 juta dan SGD261 untuk tahun kewangan 2015. (Lihat Rajah 2 di bawah)

    Rajah 2: Perbandingan keuntungan/ kerugian terkumpul bagi Prasarana, SMRT dan SBST

    Mengapa keuntungan dan kerugian syarikat pengangkutan awam ini penting dalam menentukan harga pengangkutan awam? Ini kerana syarikat pengangkutan awam yang mengumpulkan kerugian secara berterusan sama ada akan diselamatkan oleh pemegang sahamnya iaitu kerajaan Malaysia, atau ia akan mengurangkan kerugian dengan meningkatkan tambang pengangkutan awam. Inilah yang berlaku pada Disember 2015 apabila SPAD meluluskan kenaikan harga LRT dan bas setelah ia diminta oleh Prasarana untuk bertahun-tahun lamanya.

    Masih belum dapat ditentukan sama ada peningkatan tambang pada baru-baru ini dapat membantu Prasarana keluar dari belenggu kerugian atau tidak. Namun jika tidak, ianya juga tidak menghairankan jika Prasarana memilih untuk meminta kenaikan harga tambang sekali lagi dari SPAD pada masa depan.

    Salah satu sebab mengapa kedua-dua syarikat pengangkutan Singapura dapat menjana keuntungan adalah kerana jauh lebih ramai penumpang menggunakan pengangkutan awam di Singapura berbanding di Lembah Klang. Bilangan penumpang harian MRT di Singapura hampir mencecah 3 juta pada 2015 berbanding hanya 500,000 bagi LRT di Lembah Klang. Namun terdapat sebab yang lebih utama mengapa Prasarana mengumpul kerugian selama bertahun-tahun dan ianya langsung tidak berkait dengan bilangan penumpang, tetapi lebih berkait dengan kos pembiayaan yang tinggi untuk membayar hutangnya.

    2) Prasarana mempunyai kos pembiayaan yang tinggi disebabkan oleh hutangnya yang tinggi

    Pada penghujung Tahun Kewangan 2014, Prasarana telah mengumpul hutang sejumlah RM13.6 bilion. Akibat daripada beban hutang yang tinggi, ia telah membayar kos pembiayaan sebanyak RM399 juta pada 2014. Kos pembiayaan sahaja telah mencecah 81% daripada jumlah keuntungan iaitu RM490 juta. Dengan erti kata lain, 8 daripada 10 ringgit yang diperoleh Prasarana adalah digunakan untuk membayar hutang. Ini belum lagi mengambil kira kos operasi seperti membayar gaji dan bil elektrik!

    Sebagai perbandingan, SMRT mencatatkan keuntungan SGD1.3 bilion pada 2015 di samping mempunyai hutang SGD821 juta pada tahun yang sama. SBST pula mencatatkan keuntungan yang lebih rendah, iaitu SGD1.0 bilion pada 2015, dan juga hutang berjumlah SGD338 juta. Tidak hairanlah jika kos pembiayaan mereka hanya 1.0% dan 0.6% masing-masing daripada keuntungan mereka! (Lihat Carta 3 di bawah)

    Rajah 3: Keuntungan, kos pembiayaan, pinjaman dan peratusan kos pembiayaan berdasarkan keuntungan (Prasarana, SMRT dan SBST)

    Prasarana tidak harus dipersalahkan secara langsung atas tahap hutangnya yang tinggi. Sebahagian daripada hutang ini terkumpul kesan daripada ‘menyelamatkan’ syarikat-syarikat yang telah membina dan menjalankan laluan STAR dan PUTRA LRT serta KL Monorail dan juga daripada pembelian bas daripada beberapa syarikat bas seperti Intrakota, Cityliner dan Putraline.

    Namun pada masa yang sama, Prasarana perlu bertanggungjawab untuk menanggung hutang yang berlebihan akibat daripada projek infrastruktur yang mahal. Sebagai contoh, 70% daripada kos RM634 juta laluan Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) bertingkat di Sunway dan Subang Jaya telah ditanggung oleh Prasarana. Dengan kos RM117 juta bagi setiap kilometer, projek BRT sepanjang 5.4 km boleh dikira sebagai salah satu projek BRT termahal di dunia berdasarkan pengiraan kilometer (anggaran USD 30 juta bagi setiap km).[5] Baru-baru ini pula, terdapat kritikan berkenaan pemberian kontrak Rakan Penyedia Projek (PDP) jajaran 3 LRT kepada konsortium MRCB-George Kent walaupun dilaporkan konsortium tersebut mengemukakan bidaan tinggi berbanding anggaran kos pembinaan projek ini iaitu RM9 bilion.[6]

    Untuk masa depan, sukar untuk membayangkan bahawa peningkatan tambang pada penghujung 2015 akan menyumbang kepada peningkatan keuntungan Prasarana disebabkan hutang yang turut bertambah. Setakat April 2016, hutang Prasarana telah meningkat berkali ganda kepada RM20 juta dan sudah pasti ini akan meningkatkan kos pembiayaan juga.[7] Jadi, kepada sesiapa yang memikirkan bahawa tambang LRT atau Rapid akan kekal pada harga yang sama, anda mungkin perlu berfikir semula!

    3) Prasarana mempunyai hasil bukan tambang yang agak rendah

    Pengendali pengangkutan awam seringkali perlu bergantung kepada sumber pendapatan lain selain daripada keuntungan yang dikumpul daripada penjualan tiket. Sumber pendapatan ini dikenali sebagai hasil bukan tambang yang termasuk keuntungan daripada aktiviti pengiklanan, sewaan tapak di stesen LRT, bahkan juga pembangunan hartanah di stesen LRT. Pada masa ini, keuntungan bukan hasil Prasarana adalah kurang daripada 15%, berbanding SMRT di Singapura yang mencecah 28%.[8]

    Prasarana menghadapi pelbagai cabaran dalam meningkatkan hasil bukan tambang. Pengiklanan di perhentian bas, dalam bas dan stesen tren adalah merupakan sumber pendapatan tetap bagi pengusaha pengangkutan awam di seluruh dunia. Di Malaysia, ramai pengiklan keberatan untuk mengiklankan melalui saluran sebegini kerana terdapat persepsi bahawa golongan pertengahan memandu kenderaan sendiri berbanding menggunakan pengangkutan awam. Sebagai contoh, kebanyakan perhentian bas di Lembah Klang tidak mempunyai sebarang iklan di tempat menunggu, walaupun di kawasan dengan bilangan penumpang yang tinggi. Melalui perbualan saya dengan sebilangan sumber industri, kelihatan pengiklan lebih rela menggunakan duit bagi iklan di billboard besar sepanjang lebuh raya utama bagi menarik perhatian pengguna kereta berbanding mengiklankan di dalam bas dan hentian bas. Bagi mengatasi cabaran ini, Prasarana perlu memudahkan pengguna untuk menukar daripada menggunakan kereta kepada kenderaan awam, di mana usaha itu termasuklah meluaskan rangkaian bas pengantara, memendekkan waktu menunggu bas serta memastikan bahawa penggunaan LRT pada waktu puncak tidak lagi merupakan pengalaman yang tidak menyenangkan.

    Prasarana juga mempunyai cita-cita untuk meningkatkan pendapatan hartanah melalui cabang pembangunan hartanahnya, Prasarana Integrated Development Sdn Bhd (PRIDE).[9] Sasarannya adalah untuk mencapai 50% keuntungan melalui sumber bukan tambang menjelang 2020.[10] Model bagi pengusaha pengangkutan awam yang melangkau ke bidang pembangunan hartanah bagi menampung kos operasi dan perbelanjaan modal adalah MTR Hong Kong. Berbalik kepada keadaan kewangan Prasarana, ini tidak semestinya merupakan langkah buruk namun pengembangan dalam pembangunan hartanah tidak sepatutnya menganggu Prasarana dari matlamat utamanya sebagai pengendali syarikat pengangkutan awam.

    4) Kawalan tambang di Malaysia oleh SPAD sangat lemah

    Salah satu sebab mengapa Prasarana seringkali mengalami kerugian adalah tambang LRT tidak pernah dikaji semula selama 15 tahun. Ini adalah sebelum kenaikan tambang yang berlaku pada Disember 2015. Peningkatan tambang yang tinggi (melebihi 100% untuk beberapa laluan) adalah disebabkan Prasarana tidak mengetahui bilakah lagi SPAD akan membenarkan peningkatan tambang. Jadi mereka telah mengambil kesempatan untuk memaksimumkan peningkatan tambang.

    Kawal selia SPAD terhadap tambang di Malaysia amat lemah, hinggakan hanya sedikit atau langsung tiada justifikasi mahupun penjelasan bagaimana tambang untuk pelbagai jenis pengangkutan awam diselaraskan, kebiasaannya dengan peningkatan harga. SPAD seolah-olah membuat keputusan dengan melihat kepada berapakah jumlah kenaikan tambang teksi atau tren yang orang awam boleh terima atau ‘tahan’. Kemudian, selang masa akan ditunggu lagi sebelum tambang dinaikkan sekali lagi. Ini menyebabkan kitaran tidak sihat di mana pengusaha pengangkutan awam akan cuba medapatkan peningkatan tambang paling tinggi yang mungkin apabila SPAD membenarkan pelarasan tambang.

    Singapura telah mewujudkan sebuah badan berkanun yang dipanggil Public Transport Council (PTC) yang berkuasa untuk mengawal selia tambang tren dan bas.[11] Ia bekerja rapat dengan namun berasingan daripada Land Transport Authority (LTA) di Singapura, yang setara dengan SPAD. Sejak tahun 2013, PTC menjalankan kajian tambang tahunan bagi menyelaraskan tambang bas dan tren berdasarkan formula yang diumumkan kepada orang awam, yang termasuk inflasi, perubahan gaji dan kos bahan api.[12] Ini bukan sahaja merupakan cara yang lebih telus dalam menentukan struktur tambang, malahan dalam sesetengah kes ia juga menyebabkan penurunan tambang disebabkan oleh penurunan harga bahan api seperti yang berlaku pada Disember 2015.[13] Penyelarasan tambang kebiasaannya dilakukan dengan jumlah yang sedikit supaya pengguna pengangkutan awam tidak ‘dihentam’ tiba-tiba dengan peningkatan tambang yang mendadak.

    PTC juga telah memperkenalkan dasar harga progresif seperti harga berdasarkan jarak, di mana kos perjalanan dikira berdasarkan jarak perjalanan tidak kira sama ada pengangkutan bas atau tren ataupun kedua-duanya diggunakan pengguna. Ini juga bermakna anda tidak perlu membayar lebih jika anda menukar dari bas ke tren atau sebaliknya memandangkan ia merupakan perjalanan sehala, contohnya untuk ke kerja dan sekolah.

    5) Kerajaan Malaysia tidak mahu membiayai infrastruktur pengangkutan awam secara terus

    Ia adalah tidak sesuai dan realistik untuk mengharapkan pengusaha pengangkutan awam untuk menampung kos tinggi bagi pembinaan laluan kereta api transit. Kebiasaannya, kerajaan akan membayar kos pembinaan dan menjangkakan pengusaha dapat menanggung kos operasi dan barangkali mendapat sedikit keuntungan daripada aktiviti operasi itu sendiri.

    Singapura telah beralih ke model di mana kerajaan membiayai pembinaan aset pengangkutan awam seperti laluan kereta api dan gerabak manakala kontraktor berasingan iaitu SMRT pula akan menjalankan perkhidmatan berkaitan dengan aset tersebut. Baru-baru ini di bawah New Rail Financing Framework (NRFF), kerajaan telah membeli aset operasi SMRT dan kemudian telah menandatangani kontrak jangka masa panjang dengan SMRT untuk menjalankan dan mengendalikan perkhidmatan MRT.[14] Ini bermakna pengendali boleh memberi fokus sepenuhnya terhadap perjalanan tren tanpa perlu bimbang akan pembayaran gerabak baru atau pembiayaan untuk laluan tren pada masa hadapan. Kerajaan juga mendapat manfaat kerana boleh mengenakan piawaian kecekapan dan kualiti yang lebih ketat terhadap operator serta denda jika piawaian ini tidak dipenuhi.

    Di Malaysia, bagi kes LRT, pembiayaan laluan sedia ada dan laluan akan datang termasuklah laluan LRT3 yang dicadangkan adalah datang dari Prasarana secara langsung. Ini bermakna hutang Prasarana akan terus berkembang seperti yang dinyatakan di atas.

    Salah satu sebab utama mengapa kerajaan Malaysia tidak mahu membiayai secara langsung kos pembinaan projek pengangkutan awam adalah disebabkan oleh kedudukan kewangan. Malaysia mencatatkan defisit bajet sejak krisis kewangan Asia 1998 (Lihat Carta 4 di bawah). Bagi menyakinkan  pelabur asing bahawa hutang kerajaan boleh diurus, kerajaan telah membuat komitmen untuk mengurangkan defisit bajet kepada 0% menjelang tahun 2020 dan agar tidak melebihi nisbah 55% hutang kerajaan kepada KDNK. Ini bermakna kos pembiayaan projek pengangkutan awam terpaksa dipindahkan kepada syarikat milik kerajaan seperti Prasarana. Hutang Prasarana tidak didaftarkan secara rasmi sebagai hutang kerajaan Malaysia dan ini bererti kerajaan boleh terus berpura-pura seolah-olah ianya mengurangkan defisit bajet. Kos ‘kepura-puraan’ ini adalah syarikat seperti Prasarana akan terpaksa mengambil jalan untuk meningkatkan jumlah keuntungan yang boleh diperah dari rakyat melalui cara seperti peningkatan tambang.

    Kerajaan Singapura mampu menyerap kos infrastruktur awam secara langsung kerana ia merekodkan lebihan bajet yang sihat kecuali pada tahun 2009 dan 2015 (Lihat Carta 5 di bawah). Ini adalah mengapa baru- baru ini LTA mengumumkan ia telah membeli aset operasi SMRT pada harga SGD1.06 billion.[15]

    Carta 4: Lebihan Bajet/ Defisit Kerajaan Malaysia berdasarkan % KDNK (1988 hingga 2015)

    Carta 5: Lebihan Bajet/ Defisit Kerajaan Singapura berdasarkan % KDNK (1988 hingga 2015)

    Ini tidak bermakna pengangkutan awam adalah sempurna di Singapura. Sistem SMRT mengalami kerosakan serius pada 2011 dan kerosakan kecil-kecilan selepas itu yang memaksa dua orang Menteri Pengangkutan melepaskan jawatan mereka. Namun dari segi kemampuan harga pengangkutan awam, Singapura berada dalam kedudukan yang jauh lebih baik berbanding Malaysia.

    Apakah implikasi untuk pengguna pengangkutan awam di Malaysia pada masa depan? Pertama, jika tiada penambahbaikan dalam cara bagaimana LRT dan bas Rapid dibiayai dan dikawal selia, kita perlu menjangkakan lebih banyak peningkatan tambang pada masa akan datang.

    Kedua, kita perlu mengkaji hubungan perniagaan antara MRT Co iaitu pemilik Jajaran 1 MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) dan Prasarana iaitu pengendali operasi jajaran tersebut, untuk melihat impaknya terhadap keuntungan Prasarana dan MRT Co. MRT tidak menanggung kos pembinaan laluan SBK secara langsung. Dana Infra, sebuah Syarikat Tujuan Khas (SPV) telah mengeluarkan bon yang disandarkan kepada kerajaan untuk membayar kos pembinaan. Baru-baru ini, MRT telah menandatangani perjanjian pajakan 10 tahun dengan Rapid Rail, sebuah anak syarikat Prasarana, bagi menjalankan operasi jajaran 1 MRT.[16] Kesemua tambang akan diambil oleh Rapid Rail manakala MRT akan menerima keuntungan daripada pengiklanan dan sewaan. Jika Prasarana berprestasi baik, kontrak MRT mampu mengurangkan kerugian dan mungkin akan mengurangkan tekanan untuk menaikkan tambang lagi.

    Masih jauh perjalanan untuk kita mencapai tahap kemampuan harga pengangkutan awam seperti di Singapura. Salah satu kunci ke arah tersebut adalah dengan mengetahui di mana sebenarnya kedudukan kita pada masa kini.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Ahli Parlimen Serdang

    [1] Data untuk Prasarana diambil dari penyata kewangan tahunannya kepada Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM), manakala data untuk SMRT dan SBST diambil dari laporan tahunan mereka di laman web masing-masing.

    [2] RM6.10 adalah untuk token dengan wang tunai. Kos token tanpa wang tunai adalah RM5.30.

    [3] Tiada gunanya untuk menukar dari RM untuk SGD atau sebaliknya kerana kita mahu tahu berapa banyak rakyat Malaysia akan membayar untuk mengambil pengangkutan awam di Malaysia berbanding dengan berapa banyak rakyat Singapura akan membayar untuk mengambil pengangkutan awam di Singapura. Harus diingati juga bahawa KDNK Singapura per kapita adalah 5 kali ganda daripada Malaysia.

    [4] Data dari sebelum tahun 2009 tidak dijumpai di laman web SBST.

    [5] Untuk perbincangan yang lebih menyeluruh berkenaan projek Sunway BRT, sila rujuk kepada laporan berikut oleh Penang Institute: http://penanginstitute.org/v3/research/penang-institute-in-kuala-lumpur/the-sunway-bus-rapid-transit-brt-line-lessons-for-the-future

    [6] https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/319654

    [7] http://www.ram.com.my/pressReleaseView.aspx?ID=347ff69a-f151-482d-b0a9-0ae287cf9f70

    [8] Pendapatan bukan tambang SMRT termasuk hasil dari sewa teksi.

    [9] http://www.myrapid.com.my/corporate/our-business/core-business/pride

    [10] http://themalaysianreserve.com/new/story/prasarana-move-boost-non-fare-revenue

    [11] http://www.ptc.gov.sg/about/overview.htm

    [12] https://www.ptc.gov.sg/regulation/annualFareReviewProcess.htm

    [13] http://www.ptc.gov.sg/FactsAndFigures/chronologyOfFareAdjustments.htm

    [14] http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/government-and-smrt-reach-agreement-on-new-rail-financing-framework

    [15] http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/government-and-smrt-reach-agreement-on-new-rail-financing-framework

    [16] http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/07/02/mrt-corp-rapid-rail-sign-mrt-handing-over-deal/

  • Five reasons why public transportation in Malaysia is more expensive compared to Singapore

    Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, MP for Serdang, on the 9th of August, 2016

    Five reasons why public transportation in Malaysia is more expensive compared to Singapore[1]

    An MRT ride from the Pasir Ris MRT station in the east to the Pioneer MRT station in the west costs approximately SGD2. An LRT ride from the Gombak station (KJ1) to Putra Heights (KJ37) costs RM6.10.[2] Why does the LRT ride cost three times more in Malaysia compared to Singapore on a dollar for dollar basis?[3] The answer to this question is complex but let me propose a few possible reasons to explain this phenomenon.

    1) Prasarana is unprofitable and has accumulated massive losses over time

    Prasarana Malaysia Berhad is the 100% Ministry of Finance owned company which owns and operates the LRT and bus assets in the Klang Valley (as well as Penang, Kuantan and Kamunting) i.e. MyRAPID. In Singapore, the rail services are mostly operated by SMRT while the bus services are mostly operated by SBS Transit (although there is a limited amount of competition between the two companies).

    Since Prasarana was established in 1998 to take over the assets of the STAR and PUTRA LRT lines, the company has only managed to be profitable in 2 years, way back in 1999 and 2000. It has been making losses in 15 out of the last 17 years. The annual losses reached a record high of RM885.6m in 2014. In contrast, SMRT has recorded a profit in each of the past 16 years while SBST has recorded a profit in each of the past 6 years[4]. (See Chart 1 below)

    Chart 1: Comparing the Profit / Losses of Prasarana in Malaysia and SMRT & SBST in Singapore

    Given this, it is not surprising that Prasarana has accumulated losses of RM5.182billion as of FY 2014 compared to SGD741m and SGD261m in accumulated profits for SMRT and SBST respectively as of FY 2015. (See Chart 2 below)

    Chart 2: Comparing the Accumulated Profits / Losses of Prasarana, SMRT and SBST

    Why are the profits / losses of these public transportation companies important in determining public transportation prices? Because a public transportation company which continues to stack massive losses over time will either have to be bailed out by the shareholders i.e. the government of Malaysia in the case of Prasarana or it will have to reduce its losses by increasing public transportation fares. This is exactly what happened in December 2015 last year when SPAD finally approved the LRT and Bus price hike which Prasarana had been requesting for many years.

    It remains to be seen if the recent fare hike will help Prasarana get into the black but if it doesn’t, it would not be surprising if Prasarana asks SPAD for another price hike in the near future.

    One of the reasons why both public transportation companies in Singapore are profitable is that a far larger number of people take public transportation in Singapore compared to the Klang Valley. The MRT daily ridership in Singapore was almost 3 million in 2015 compared to slightly less than 500,000 for the LRT in the Klang Valley. But there is a far more important reason why Prasarana has been stacking up significant losses over the years and this has nothing to do with ridership numbers and all to do with the high financing costs to service its debt.

    2) Prasarana has very high financing costs because of its high debts

    At the end of Financial Year 2014, Prasarana was carrying a total debt of RM13.6 billion. As a result of this high debt burden, it was paying out finance costs totalling RM399 million in 2014. Its financing costs was 81% of its total revenue of RM490 million. In other words, 8 out of every 10 dollars which Prasarana was taking in was being used to service its debt. And this is not even taking into account operational costs such as paying salaries and electricity bills!

    In comparison, SMRT, which had revenues of SGD1.3b in 2015, was carrying debts totalling SGD821m in 2015. SBST, which had slightly lower revenues of SGD1.0b in 2015 was carrying debts totalling SGD338m. No wonder that their finance costs was 1% and 0.6% of revenue respectively! (See Chart 3 below)

    Chart 3: Revenue, Finance Costs, Borrowings and Finance Costs as % of Revenue (Prasarana, SMRT and SBST)

    Prasarana should not be directly blamed for its high debt levels. Some of it was accumulated as a result of having to ‘bail out’ the companies which built and operated the STAR and PUTRA LRT lines as well as the KL Monorail and also to buy buses from certain bus operators namely Intrakota, Cityliner and Putraline.

    But at the same time, Prasarana needs to take responsibility for taking on excess debt as a result of expensive public infrastructure projects. For example, 70% of the cost of the RM634m elevated Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line in Sunway, Subang Jaya, had to be borne by Prasarana. At RM117m per km, the 5.4km BRT must count as one of the more expensive BRT projects in the world on a km basis (approximately US$30m per km).[5]

    Moving ahead, it is hard to imagine the fare rise at the end of 2015 helping to increase Prasarana’s profitability because of the continued increase in its debt. As of April 2016, Prasarana’s debt has ballooned to more than RM20 billion which will definitely increase its finance costs.[7] So for those of you who are thinking that LRT or Rapid fares will remain where they are, you may want to think again!

    3) Prasarana has a relatively low non-fare revenue

    Operators of public transportation often have to depend on other sources of income in addition to the revenue collected from ticket sales. These income sources are known as non-fare revenue which would include revenue from advertising, rental of space at LRT stations and even property development at LRT stations. Currently, Prasarana’s non-fare revenue is less than 15% compared to 28% for SMRT in Singapore.[8]

    Prasarana faces certain challenges when it comes to increasing its non-fare revenue. Advertising at bus stops, on buses and at train stations are regular income earners for public transport operators around the world. In Malaysia, many advertisers are reluctant to advertise via these channels because of the perception that the middle class drive cars rather than take public transport. For example, most of the bus stops in the Klang Valley do not feature any advertisements, even in places where there is a high number of passengers. From my conversation with some industry sources, it seems that advertisers would rather spend their money on big billboards along major highways to capture the ‘eyeballs’ in cars rather than to advertise on buses or at bus stops. To overcome this challenge, Prasarana has to make it much more convenient for people to switch from their cars to public transportation which includes expanding its network of feeder buses, shortening waiting times for buses and making sure that taking the LRT during peak periods is not an unpleasant experience, to put it mildly.

    Prasarana, also has ambitious plans to increase property related income through its property development arm, Prasarana Integrated Development Sdn Bhd or PRIDE.[9] The target is to achieve as much as 50% of revenue via non fare sources by 2020.[10] The model of public transport operators going into property development to cover its operating and even some of its capital expenditure is Hong Kong’s MTR. Given Prasarana’s financial position, this is not necessarily a bad move but property development ventures should not distract Prasarana from its main goal as a public transport operator.

    4) SPAD has done a very poor job of fare regulation in Malaysia

    One of Prasarana’s reasons for why it was always making losses is because the LRT fares had not been revised for 15 years. This is prior to the fare hike which took place in December 2015. One of the reasons why the quantum of the fare hike was so high (by more than 100% on some routes) is because Prasarana did not know when SPAD would allow it to increase its fare again. So they decided to strike while the iron is hot and to maximise the fare increase.

    SPAD has done a very poor job in terms of fare regulation in Malaysia. There is little to no justification or explanation on how fares for various forms of public transportation are adjusted, usually upwards. It almost seems as if SPAD bases its decision on how much of a rise in taxi or train fares the public can withstand or ‘tahan’. And then, it will wait for some time before fares are adjusted again. This creates a vicious cycle whereby public transport operators will try to get the highest possible fare raise when SPAD allows for a fare adjustment.

    Singapore established a statutory body called the Public Transport Council (PTC) which has the power to regulate train and bus fares.[11] It works close with but is separate from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) which is the equivalent of SPAD in Singapore. Since 2013, the PTC conducts an annual fare review exercise to adjust the bus and train fares based on a publicly announced formula which includes inflation, changes in wages and the cost of energy.[12] Not only is this a more transparent way to determining the fare structure, in some cases, it can also result in the reduction of fares because of a drop in energy prices as was the case in December 2015.[13] The fare adjustments are usually in small amounts so that public transportation users are not unfairly ‘hit’ by a sudden hike in prices.

    The PTC also introduced progressive pricing policies such as distance pricing meaning that the cost of a journey is calculated based on distance regardless of whether you take a bus or train or both. This means that you won’t be charged extra if you change from a bus to a train or vice versa since it is part of a single journey you are taking, to work or to school, for instance.

    5) The Malaysian government does not want to directly fund public transportation infrastructure

    It is not feasible or realistic to expect public transport operators to cover the high costs of constructing a rapid transit train line. What usually happens is that the government will pay for the costs of construction while expecting the operator to cover at least its operation costs and perhaps make a small operating profit.

    Singapore has been moving to a model where the government funds the construction of the public transportation assets e.g. train tracks, rolling stock while a separate operator e.g. SMRT will run the services related to these assets. In a recent development under the New Rail Financing Framework (NRFF), the government will buy over all the operating assets of SMRT and then sign a long term contract with SMRT to run and operate the MRT services.[14] This means that the operator can fully focus on the running of the trains without having to worry about paying for new rolling stock or funding future train lines. The government benefits too because it can impose more stringent standards of efficiency and quality on the operator and fine the operator if these standards are not met.

    In Malaysia, at least for the LRT, the funding of the previous and upcoming lines comes directly from Prasarana including the proposed LRT 3 line. This means that the debt of Prasarana will continue to grow as mentioned above.

    One of the main reasons why the Malaysian government does not want to directly fund the construction costs of these public transportation projects is because of its budget position. Malaysia has been registering budget deficits since the 1998 Asian financial crisis (See chart 4 below). To assure foreign investors that government debts are manageable, the government has made a commitment to reduce its budget deficit to zero by 2020 and not to exceed a 55% government debt to GDP ratio. What this means is that the costs of financing public infrastructure projects have been shifted to government owned companies such as Prasarana. Prasarana’s debt is not registered officially as Malaysian government debt which means the government can continue to pretend that it is reducing the budget deficit. The cost of this ‘pretence’ is that companies such as Prasarana will be forced to resort to increasing the amount of revenue it can extract from the ‘rakyat’ via measures such as fare increases.

    The Singapore government is able to absorb the costs of public infrastructure directly because it has a record of running healthy budget surpluses with the exception 2009 and 2015 (see Chart 5 below). This is why the Land Transport Authority (LTA) was able to announce recently that it was buying the operating assets of SMRT at a price tag of SGD1.06 billion.[15]

     Chart 4: The Malaysian Government Budget Surplus / Deficit as % of GDP (1988 to 2015)

    Chart 5: The Singapore Government Budget Surplus / Deficit as % of GDP (1988 to 2015)

    This does not mean that public transportation is all well and good in Singapore. The MRT system experienced serious breakdowns in 2011 and smaller breakdowns subsequently which ultimately costs two Ministers of Transportation their jobs. But in terms of affordability, Singapore is in a far better position compared to Malaysia.

    What are the implications for public transportation users in Malaysia moving forward? Firstly, if there are no improvements in the manner in which the LRT and Rapid buses are financed and regulated, we should expect more increases in fare charges in the near future.

    Secondly, we need to examine the business relationship between MRT Co, the owner of the new Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) MRT Line 1, and the operator of the line, which will be Prasarana, to see its impact on the profitability of Prasarana as well as of MRT Co. MRT is not directly bearing the costs of construction the SBK line. A separate special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Dana Infra has been issuing government backed bonds to pay for the construction costs. MRT recently signed a 10-year lease agreement with Rapid Rail, a Prasarana subsidiary, for it to run the operations of the first MRT line.[16] All the fares will go to Rapid Rail while MRT will receive revenue from advertising and rental. If Prasarana performs well, the MRT contract can help reduce its losses and perhaps reduce pressure to increase fares.

    We have a long way to go before we can achieve Singapore’s affordable public transport pricing. One the keys to getting there is knowing where we are at now.

    Dr. Ong Kian Ming
    Member of Parliament for Serdang

    [1] Data for Prasarana taken from its annual returns to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), data for SMRT and SBST taken from their annual reports which are available on their website.

    [2] RM6.10 is for a cash token. A cashless token costs RM5.30.

    [3] There is no point to convert from RM to SGD or vice versa because we want to know how much a Malaysian would pay to take public transportation in Malaysia versus how much a Singapore would pay to take public transportation in Singapore. Bear in mind also that Singapore’s GDP per capita is 5 times that of Malaysia’s.

    [4] Pre 2009 data was not available in the SBST website.

    [5] For a more thorough discussion of the Sunway BRT project, please refer to the following report by Penang Institute: http://penanginstitute.org/v3/research/penang-institute-in-kuala-lumpur/the-sunway-bus-rapid-transit-brt-line-lessons-for-the-future

    [7] http://www.ram.com.my/pressReleaseView.aspx?ID=347ff69a-f151-482d-b0a9-0ae287cf9f70

    [8] SMRT’s non fare revenue includes revenue from the rental of taxis.

    [9] http://www.myrapid.com.my/corporate/our-business/core-business/pride

    [10] http://themalaysianreserve.com/new/story/prasarana-move-boost-non-fare-revenue

    [11] http://www.ptc.gov.sg/about/overview.htm

    [12] https://www.ptc.gov.sg/regulation/annualFareReviewProcess.htm

    [13] http://www.ptc.gov.sg/FactsAndFigures/chronologyOfFareAdjustments.htm

    [14] http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/government-and-smrt-reach-agreement-on-new-rail-financing-framework

    [15] http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/government-and-smrt-reach-agreement-on-new-rail-financing-framework

    [16] http://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2016/07/02/mrt-corp-rapid-rail-sign-mrt-handing-over-deal/

Page 22 of 205« First...10...2021222324...304050...Last »