Investigate Syabas boss's RM33.4 million salary, says DAP

Investigate Syabas boss's RM33.4 million salary, says DAP
KUALA LUMPUR: The controversial RM33.4 million remuneration package given to Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd (PNHB) executive chairman Tan Sri Rozali Ismail must be investigated, said DAP today.

DAP publicity chief Tony Pua urged the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) to take all necessary action to investigated this “payout” in order to protect the interest of Malaysians.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP also called on the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water must also stop all extraordinary and non-operational payouts in water concessionaires.

On Wednesday, Klang MP Charles Santiago questioned the RM33.4 million remuneration, which included a RM20 million retirement gratuity, given to Rozali in 2012 for his services.

The revelation on the remuneration last week invited criticisms against the company, which is the majority shareholders of Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), the concession which manages water in the Klang Valley.
However, Syabas has defended itself against the attacks and is considering legal action, while a report in The Malay Mail quoted minority shareholders, Puncak Niaga (PNHB) Minority Shareholders Watchdog Group (MSWG), as saying that the amount was “deserved” and was approved in the company’s annual general meeting on June 26.

Pua expressed shock that the group would defend the remuneration package, given that the company has allegedly not been doing well financially in the past five years.

“On paper, PNHB recorded a net profit of RM233 million for the financial year 2012.  However, it should be highlighted that PNHB achieved profitability only because it recognised a RM1.02 billion ‘water tariff compensation’ from the Selangor State Government,” said Pua.

This compensation, said Pua, was never agreed to by the Selangor government because PNHB and its subsidiary, Syabas, “failed to fulfil its obligations under the water concession agreement|.

“The failure includes but is not limited to SYABAS’s failure to repair and replace aging pipes, and consequently to reduce the percentage of non-revenue water in Selangor,” he said.

The amount was also being disputed in court and Pua argued that it should not be recognised as “revenue” for PNHB in the first place. 

If the Selangor state compensation was removed from the equation, Pua said that PNHB would have made massive losses of up to RM791 million.

“Given such underlying performance in the company, does the PNHB-MSWG really believe that Rozali fully deserves the RM33.4 million payoff?”

“In fact under normal circumstances, they should logically be calling for the company’s top management to be axed, and not in this case, lucratively rewarded!”

Pua said in 2011, PNHB made net losses of RM83 million, despite recognising RM458 million in “water tariff compensation”, meaning total losses without the “compensation” would have been as high as RM541 million. 

Going back further, PNSB made losses of RM92 million (2010) after recognising “water tariff compensation” of RM419 million (2010), he said.