Still remember the highly controversial 1Malaysia E-Mail project launched by Malaysian PM Najib which costs about RM50 million of which was awarded to financially troubled company, Tricubes, not many moons ago? Well, in less than seven months after Tricubes Berhad (KLSE: TCUBES, stock-code 0062) courted public outcry and heavy criticism over its controversial email project, it seems the company may attract unwanted attention again over government project. This time – an easier project or rather an easy meat – as the collection agent of traffic summonses.
It seems the company which saw its boss, Khairun Zainal Mokhtar, who had been transferring shares to his spouse in million in-and-out, was left in dry after the failure in the previous e-mail project. After bragging about achieving 5.4 million subscribers by year end (Dec 2011), Tricubes, however has to lick its wound and quietly walked off with its tail between its legs when the company only managed to attract 3,000 e-mail subscription by early Oct 2011. Nevertheless somebody must have already made the killing when the stock skyrocket to as high as RM0.45 a share after the news of the e-mail project was revealed.
The company’s stock, which also saw Zaman Khan, a former CID chief and Prisons Department director-general, as non-independent and non-executive director as well as the father-in-law of big boss Khairun, had plunged to less than RM0.10 a share since. And now with the news that the company is being appointed by Royal Malaysian Police as the collection agent of traffic summonses, the stock skyrocket again to as high as RM0.26 – not bad for a financialy distressed listed company. Obviously the latest award will be seen as another attempt to bail-out the company with public’s money.
But more importantly, public would be asking what value-add that Tricubes can bring to the traffic summonses collection system. The company said it would be the collection agent of traffic summons via automated teller machines and enquiries concerning traffic summonses through the short messaging system. But Tricubes does not own any ATM machines nor does it own any telecommuncation infrastructure to offer SMS services. So why should the Royal Police award a slice of the delicious cake to Tricubes for doing, well, practically nothing?
In fact, what Royal Malaysian Police needs to do is to announce a dead-line for offenders to pay up otherwise the most-feared uniform personnels would pull you out of your comfy-bed in the middle of midnight. That would sufficient to drive thousands to pay up their summonses. Royal Malaysian Police can also easily link their system to the financial institutions, if not already done so, in order to ease the summonses settlement. And since when the traffic police has become so polite as to remind you about your traffic summonses? Now, offenders would know of the outstanding summonses when they couldn’t renew their vehicle’s road tax and insurance.
Tricubes is quite smart as not to announce its potential “commissions” from becoming the “middleman” as the collection agent, as not to provoke public’s outcry again. Still, it still does not explain how it can value-add to the whole summonses collection chain to show that it deserves to get the contract. The only thing public can see is a critical financially-distressed company which is about to be de-listed from the stock market was given a VIP-status to collect money from a cash-cow collection line. And that is simply absurd and unacceptable in an attempt to bail-out a crony company.
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