GOPENG, Jan 13 — Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu today revealed that Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) was closed temporarily during the recent school holidays after Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) cut its electricity supply due to unpaid bills by the previous administration.
Ahmad Faizal said that TNB made the move as it was worried about the overdue bills in light of the status of the animation park which is now under receivership.
“The bills which were not paid were issued during the previous administration and since MAPS was taken over by the bank, it caused TNB to take immediate action to cut the power supply,” he told a press conference after launching the sales of the Rumah Perakku housing project here.
“When we took over, MAPS didn’t have any visitors, but after offering free entrance, many visitors supported the business.
“We managed to secure funds to settle the overhead costs such as utility bills, salary and a few more things. We have been paying the monthly electricity bills since we took over, but the bills which are pending now were issued during the previous administration,” he added.
Ahmad Faizal said the current government could not afford to pay the debts left by the previous administration, including the electricity bills, which amounts to about RM4 million.
Visitors were furious over the two-day closure and criticised the management and state government in social media.
However, Ahmad Faizal said that MAPS has started to operate as usual after a discussion was held with TNB to reconnect the power supply.
“We are discussing with various parties to solve all the problems in MAPS. However, I can’t reveal anything on this matter at the moment,” he said.
Last month, it was reported that Affin Hwang Investment Bank Bhd (Affin Investment) appointed Duar Tuan Kiat of Messrs Ernst & Young as receiver and manager of Animation Theme Park’s (ATP) property and will apply for PN17 status.
Receivership refers to a trustee who is legally appointed to act as the custodian of a company’s assets or business operations while PN17 stands for Practice Note 17/2005 and is issued by Bursa Malaysia and denotes financial distress.
ATP defaulted on its repayment of principal payment totalling RM25.7 million.
The loan was granted by Affin Investment, Affin Bank Bhd, Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Bhd and Malaysia Debt Ventures Bhd. The theme park was built at a cost of RM520 million.
Affin Investment is said to have informed ATP that failure to effect the payment as demanded would “result in the secured obligations amounting to RM242.65 million from ATP becoming due and payable”.