Public-Transport Company’s AGM Disrupted by Shareholders

The Yangon Urban Public Transportation Company’s (YUPT) annual general meeting on Wednesday was disrupted by a shareholder uprising over a lack of profit and leadership selection.

YUPT, in which the Yangon Region government invested K35 billion, operates 19 bus lines under the Yangon Bus Service (YBS) and has 1349 buses.

The company’s second annual general meeting on Wednesday by disrupted by shareholders who said they were unhappy with the chair of the board of directors, who was appointed by the government.
YUPT’s board has nine directors, four appointed directly by the government and another five chosen by the company’s shareholders.

However, shareholders expressed dissatisfaction with the chair of the board, claiming that he does not have experience in public transportation and has not been running the company properly.

“We haven’t seen any profit for three years, but the chair and the managing director are getting big salaries every month. We asked the chair again and again to meet with the shareholders, but he has not. In addition, over 180 buses are parked at the company’s compound and can’t run because of breakdowns. This shows he can’t manage the business well,” said U Htun Oo, one of YUPT’s shareholders.

The shareholders also allege that the chair is trying to strengthen his own position and remove the directors chosen by the shareholders. The shareholders also claim that the company’s managing director, the wife of a regional MP, does not have the experience needed for her position.

“In 2016, when the previous public transport service (colloquially known as Ma Hta Tha) was transformed to become the YBS, the Yangon chief minister said that he wanted us to cooperate in order to provide better public transportation for commuters. And he said that we would profit from this. So, we cooperated. But we haven’t a profit yet,” said U Htein Win, another YUPT shareholder.

YUPT has 290 shareholders who invested K5.63 billion in the company besides the K35 billion put up by the Yangon Region government. Most of shareholders were the operators of bus services under the old Ma Hta Tha public transportation system.

“We have no objection to people being assigned to the board of directors by the government, but they must have the experience or ability to manage the business,” said U Htun Oo.

A total of 162 shareholders have signed a letter stating their lack of confidence in the current chair sent to the State Counselor, President and Yangon Region Assembly.

“We have been in the public-transportation business for 35 years, so we know who has the ability and who can manage well,” said another shareholder, who declined to be named.

The shareholders are also complaining about the fact that the chair issued the company’s accounts in English, which many of them do not understand.

“I think that issuing the accounts in English was done intentionally. So we oppose this meeting and want to hold anothe one very soon and we want to choose the new directors and chair as we wish,” said U Htein Win.

Asked for comment, Yangon Region Transport Authority Secretary U Maung Aung said: “We selected the directors to the best of our ability, but the shareholders seem to disagree. I will inform the regional government about the matter and try to hold another annual general meeting soon.”

Source: Myanmar Times

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