by AFIQ AZIZ/ pic credit: ktmb.com.my
KERETAPI Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) has appointed Datuk Ir Kamarulzaman Zainal (picture) as CEO effective yesterday.
In a statement yesterday, the state-owned railway operator said Kamarulzaman will replace Mohd Rani Hisham Samsudin, whose contract ended on Sept 15 after two years of service.
Kamarulzaman, 56, was appointed to the KTMB board in August 2016. Previously, he worked at the Malaysian-Industry Government Group for High Technology for 13 years, with his last position as senior VP of industry intelligence group.
Kamarulzaman graduated from University of Texas, US. The mechanical engineering degree holder then joined the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) in 1985 as an engineer.
He was involved in a Royal Australian Air Force exchange programme during his 21 years of service in TUDM.
“With his experience and expertise in managing the government’s strategic assets, we are certain that Kamarulzaman is able to shoulder the responsibility of being the main leader of the company,” KTMB’s statement noted.
KTMB is the country’s largest railway operator and is owned by the Finance Ministry. It has been undergoing a restructuring exercise to return to profitability.
It was reported that the company has lost more than RM3 billion since it was corporatised in 1992, before managing to return to profitability in December 2017 under Mohd Rani’s tenure.
Note that all of KTMB’s assets are parked under the Railway Assets Corp (RAC) — a company owned by the Transport Ministry back in 1992, with the latter absorbing KTMB’s RM2.1 billion worth of debt.
The move is to enable the national railway firm to focus purely on improving its operations and efficiency.
RAC now controls a staggering RM34.5 billion worth of assets, including rolling stocks, signalling systems, railway land in strategic locations and more than 1,600km of railway tracks currently being utilised mainly by KTMB.