Following the Kelana Jaya line LRT breakdown, the public asked those responsible, like caretaker Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong and those from Prasarana Malaysia Bhd, to resign. The company’s first Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Datuk Ridza Abdoh Salleh, revealed the possible reason for the travel woe might be internal sabotage, reported the Vibes.
Staffs are Unhappy
Speaking to The Vibes, Ridza said that the unhappiness among the staff might be the reason for the automatic train control (ATC) failure between Ampang Park and Kelana Jaya stations.
I’m not sure if it has anything to do with the approaching general election. Still, I do not eliminate the possibility of sabotage, ”
He said this in response to a theory put forth by a business observer regarding the accusation of sabotage to the point that management has been unable to identify the precise reason for ATC’s failure.
He added that the likely act of sabotage may have sprung from long-standing hostility among middle and lower-level employees at the state-owned public transport corporation.
Ridza added in his note on LinkedIn this week that Prasarana saw the top people getting a lot of money and the bottom people earning not as much, which (has) produced enmity.
“When the morale of the (lower-ranked) personnel isn’t taken care of, this is possible to happen,” he said.
Human Resources Issue
Ridza claimed that these human resources issues are the key reasons some engineers or technicians were unhappy.
The unhappy working environment has been present for some time, and this might be the result,” he said.
He attributed the reason for the dreadful work culture to the absence of a succession plan while saying they put (in) the wrong people.
“For instance, while employees are not promoted to important roles, we cannot just hire an IT expert from Sime Darby or a finance professional from a bank into Prasarana’s top management,” he explained.
Having stated that Prasarana is a complex organisation hiring a vast array of professionals, Ridza elaborated that not only does having too many levels at the top result in excessive red tape and bureaucracy, but it can also breed resentment among the workers.
“Not a place to earn high salaries and do nothing”
Ridza said he had shared the dedication workers at the company need.
“Prasarana or RapidKL is not a place to earn high salaries and do nothing. No matter who, they must commit to working nonstop, as LRT never ceases to operate 365 days a year, including Christmas or Hari Raya.
“Meetings in an air-conditioned space are only an adventure for the moment. The actual test occurs when 16 stations are closed, as announced (that day).
Stressing that he is not blaming the current management, he expressed his hope that the administration and the board will take his hint seriously to prevent similar mistakes from occurring again.
He later said he does not blame the current Prasarana president and group CEO, Mohd Azharuddin Mat Sah.
“Azharuddin only inherited the system. I am criticising the culture, the way we look at things.”
Not technical, but management issue
Ridza bemoaned Prasarana’s reliance on outside experts from Toronto and Istanbul in fixing the issue, at the same time, expressed his confusion towards the team’s inability as they have been running the system for years.
I have complete faith in domestic professionals. Now, they (the Prasarana team) claimed they couldn’t identify the root of the problem and resolve the emergency independently. Given that we have been operating the system for 25 years, I don’t comprehend it. This is a management issue.
Ridza added that they faced more significant difficulties back then than now, but we persevered and learnt our lessons the hard way. Even the system’s designer, who worked with them to design it, had doubts about how well it would function.
“Many issues arose, but we resolved them and learned independently. We didn’t travel abroad to learn everything, and for four years, I forbade anyone—including myself—from travelling abroad, even for conferences.
“Everyone stayed put, put in a lot of effort, and comprehended the entire system. When the Putra LRT was launched, we were able to break even and operate at a profit,” he wrote.