Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Screwed and Screwed Again.

Unless you are a masochist or you are into the thing of the people of S&G, getting constantly screwed is never a nice experience.

Consider the experiences of the people in KTM Berhad (formerly knows as KTM). Getting screwed or receiving the short end of the straw has become something normal and to be expected. A case in point was the famous (infamous) offer made by the government to dispose of the entity for 1 ringgit during the Mahathir/Daim era. This decision though made necessary to emphasize the worsening situation KTM was in then, it did not consider the demoralizing effect on the people in KTM and their families having to endure the brunt of the jokes and sarcasms within and outside the community.

Next came the short lived supposed takeover of KTM by the consortium under Renong known as Marak Unggul. How they came and what they did will forever be etched in the memory of those who came under their blitz. From the senior management to the menial worker none were spared. People were asked to leave unconditionally or so humiliated, some left on their own accord. Work rules and procedures were upheaved to bring about so-called efficiency. Critical maintenance of infrastructures and assets such as the tracks and rolling stocks were curtailed and essential spares ordered were cancelled. The list goes on and on. Again, it was the people in KTM and their families that were affected. Again, nobody gave a shit!

Every time our people got screwed they (the people doing the screwing) left a lot of shit behind (no pun intended). It was left to us to do the cleanup and it took a lot of effort to boost the morale of people that had been stamped on.

As was with the case of Renong/Marak Unggul, it took a railwayman himself to assume and resume the burden of putting things back to normalcy. First it was Dato' Salleh Abdullah and then was succeeded by Dato' Abdul Radzak, railwaymen both. Salleh in a way succeeded in tackling the shit caused by the cutbacks in maintenance but the shit was so great that he was overwhelmed. No thanks to the people who sat on the Board. When Radzak took over, he focused on the oft heralded important asset but seldom given the importance it deserves, the human asset, the people, the railwaymen.

Then, KTM got screwed again.

Radzak's two year contract was halved by the Ministry of Finance for no apparent reason whatsoever. It seems the Chairman (who resigned when Radzak was appointed but still harbored the post) and some members of the Board didn't like him. Screw the railwaymen and RUM (Railwayman Union of Malaya) and all those who came out in his support. Why the sudden interest to sit on the Board of KTMB? The former Chairman the late Tan Sri Selvarajah held the post till he passed away, kind of personal to holder to him. Suddenly, there was this interest in being on the Board. Why?

After a protest by RUM, KTMB is now managed by a Exco comprising three Board members pending a new MD. Obviously, three heads are better than one.

Meantime, screw the railwaymen.

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