Shares to be suspended July 11, has till Aug 2 to appeal
MyEmail project will continue, insist Tricubes and Pemandu
BOTH the company implementing the “1Malaysia” email (MyEmail) project and the agency overseeing the Malaysian Government’s transformation programs insisted that the project will not be affected by the company’s possible delisting.
On July 4, Bursa Securities rejected the regularization plan proposed by Tricubes Bhd and said shares would be suspended on July 11. The company, listed on the secondary ACE market, has until Aug 2 to appeal.
The Bursa Securities decision saw Tricubes shares take a free fall, plunging 70% to three sen (approximately one US cent). It was the most traded share that day with more than 15 million shares exchanging hands.
“We will respect the regulatory processes that govern them; until they exhaust those processes, we will still consider them [Tricubes] part of the [MyEmail] project,” said a spokesman for the Performance Management & Delivery Unit (Pemandu) of the Prime Minister's Department, which implements and oversees the Government's various transformation programs.
“To be fair, they have invested a fair bit – to the tune of RM5.3 million (US$1.7 million) last year – and created 20 jobs versus the 55 mapped, but it is still a good achievement.
“Even if they get delisted, they are not a bankrupt company and we will cross that bridge when we get there. Until then, let them deal with the regulator [Bursa Securities]. We will give them enough space to deal with this, and revisit it later,” the Pemandu official told Digital News Asia (DNA).
He reiterated that the Government was not putting in a cent into this project, and that Pemandu was merely helping with facilitation.
Tricubes had earlier said it would be investing RM50 million (US$15.8 million) into the project over 10 years. Bursa Securities said its consolidated accumulated losses as at March 31, 2011 were RM17.2 million (US$5.5 million) and this would be reduced to about RM7.3 million (US$2.3 million) based on Tricubes' proposed regularization plan.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the “1Malaysia” email project in April last year as part of his administration’s Economic Transformation Program (ETP), saying it would have a gross national income (GNI) impact of RM39 million (US$14.4 million) by 2015.
The project was to allow direct and secure communications between Malaysian citizens and the Government, but caused a public outcry and elicited fierce criticism, especially when it was revealed that government bodies using the service would be required to pay for every email sent.
Pemandu said then that the project was expected to save the Federal Government RM200 million (US$63.4 million) over 10 years by halving the cost of sending official, snail-mail correspondence.
Falling short of targets
The project’s targets included getting all Malaysian adults, about 18-million-strong, on the platform by 2020.
Tricubes’ initial target was 5.4 million by end-2011, but last October its chief executive officer Khairun Zainal Mokhtar admitted that it was falling short and had managed to register several thousand only, mostly ported over from trial accounts.
“In order to attract more subscribers, we have developed additional citizen-to-government (C2G) mobile apps to complement MyEmail. We foresee that these value added services and mobile apps will pull in more subscribers,” he told DNA.
When asked what was being done to salvage the project, Khairun said that the project was completed last September and “doesn’t need to be salvaged.”
“Projects like MyEmail have a gestation period both in terms of revenue generation and subscriber base. In the meantime we have our other businesses that are generating income for the company,” he said.
These new businesses include partnering with a bank for payment of police summonses over automated teller machines, managed services for electronic bill presentment( EBP) for the MyEmail project, and a Customer Relationship Management cloud offering using the Software as a Service model.
He however declined to say how many users have registered for MyEmail, nor how many government agencies or bodies have engaged Tricubes’ push-billing service, only saying, “we have now submitted many proposals to various government agencies (billers) for their EBP managed services.”
Last year, it was reported that Tricubes had approached three government agencies – Kuala Lumpur City Hall, the Road Transport Department and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) – to use its email push-billing email system and had begun pilot trials.
Khairun said Tricubes would be appealing the Bursa Securities decision as soon as possible. “We're optimistic about our chances of not being delisted, but we're filing the appeal as required.”
MyEmail runs on Microsoft Corp’s Hotmail platform. The US software giant declined to comment.