KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 : Prasarana Malaysia Bhd (Prasarana) is expected to begin negotiations with the Saudi Arabia government next month for a new contract to operate the haj train service, Al Mashaaer Al Mugaddasah Makkah Metro-Southern Line (MMMSL).
Prasarana Group president and chief executive officer, Datuk Seri Azmi Abdul Aziz said it would be carried out through direct negotiation and currently, the company was studying submitting a more rational contract value to the Saudi Arabian government.
“It’s still too early for us to reveal the details of the negotiations, but we are targeting a contract value which is more profitable, hence, supporting efforts to strengthen our operation in Saudi Arabia.
“It depends on our performance in handling the operations of MMMSL during the three-year contract since 2015, with Prasarana recording the best performance in terms of the train operations and handling of passengers (pilgrims) during the last haj season,” he said at the ‘Majlis Penghargaan Petugas Media – Operasi Haji Prasarana Malaysia 2017’, an event held to appreciate media members who were on duty on the holy land during the recent haj season, here yesterday.
Also present were Prasarana Group chairman Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Prasarana Integrated Management & Engineering Services chief executive officer Masnizam Hisham and New Straits Times Press (NSTP) chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Jalil Hamid.
Azmi said based on Prasarana’s previous performance in handling the MMMSL train, which has been recognised as the busiest and most congested in the world since 2015, as well as having skilled and experienced workforce, the company was optimistic of getting the contract.
“For operation during this year’s haj season, we recorded 112 per cent in train movement flow which surpassed the target set by the Saudi Arabian Public Transport Authority (PTA), apart from handling two million passengers,” he said.
Prasarana won the contract, worth SR800 million (RM911 million) to manage operations of the MMMSL train in 2015 and it expired on May 31 next year.
Meanwhile, Masnizam said it was crucial for Prasarana to win the contract to strengthen the Malaysian brand and to help other Malaysian companies to explore opportunities in Saudi Arabia, as well as other countries in the region.
“Prasarana and Malaysia are now trusted brands in Saudi Arabia. Hence, getting the new contract can help us to explore more business opportunities , especially in the context of providing services,” he said.