Putrajaya snubs LTAT ex-chair’s demand for interest on AES cash

Kenneth Tee

Loke says the government will pay RM555 million, nothing more and nothing less, for the acquisition of two firms operating the Automated Enforcement System (AES). ― Bernama pic

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 24 — The government will not repay the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT) beyond its principal sum of RM555 million for the acquisition of two firms operating the Automated Enforcement System (AES), the transport minister said today.

Responding to the immediate former chairman of the board who yesterday demanded that the sum be repaid with an annual interest of 12 per cent, Loke said his ministry was open to engagement but will not alter its position on the repayment.

“As far as the government is concerned, our position is to pay RM555 million, nothing more and nothing less,” he said today.

Loke said the government had no intention to review the repayment figures as “it was a bad decision by LTAT to take over the concessionaires in the first place” and was not bounded to the agreement made by the previous Barisan Nasional government.

“Of course LTAT would think it was profitable and is currently justifying its investment decision but it is up to the LTAT members to evaluate themselves,” he said.

Former LTAT chairman Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Mohd Nor insisted it was unfair to the board if was not compensated on the use of its money to buy up ATES Sdn Bhd and Beta Tegap Sdn Bhd as well as associated costs.

Mohd Anwar said due diligence was conducted before the project was found to be commercially viable with a strong double-digit return on investment for LTAT while at the same time created employment opportunities for army veterans and reducing road accidents.

In 2014, LTAT was invited to take over the AES project from the two companies that were awarded the project initially and in 2017 the government through the Finance Ministry decided to take over the project from LTAT by paying back all of its investment cost plus 12 per cent return per annum.

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