Govt will only pay back RM555 million to LTAT, says Loke

Hashini Kavishtri Kannan and Irwan Shafrizan Ismail

PUTRAJAYA: The government will only pay back RM555 million to Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) for the cost of acquiring two companies involved in the Automated Enforcement System (AES).

Transport Minister Anthony Loke said the government had no intention of paying back any other expense borne by LTAT as the current government was not tied up to agreements between LTAT and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

“We will sit down and discuss with LTAT. However our position is we will just pay back the capital which is RM555 million. That’s our stand.

“The current government is not tied up to any agreement entered by the previous government with LTAT,” he said during a press conference today.

Loke also said the government had no intention to review the repayment.

“It was a bad decision by LTAT in the first place to take over two AES project concessionaire companies - ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd.

“Of course they thought there will be profit, and the former chairman tries to justify that it was a good investment.

“That is subject to LTAT members to evaluate,” he added.

Loke said this following a statement by former LTAT chairman Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor that the current government must return the money spent by LTAT to take over the two concessionaire companies including 12 per cent return per annum as agreed by the previous government in November 2017.

Last week, Loke questioned the previous government’s decision to ask LTAT to take over the project from the two private companies for RM555 million in what he described as a lop-sided agreement.

The present government is taking over the operations of the AES system beginning Sept 1, and the RM555 million will be refunded to LTAT in stages. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd