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Saturday, 13 June 2015

Possible Toll increase: Lu punya pasal, lain orang tanggung tetapi lu ketawa pulak.

Yesterday Tun M took a jibe at the possibility of the government raising toll rates for 16 highways this August as reported by the local newspapers.

"Maybe the money from GST (goods and services tax) is not enough. They want more money to cover for the loans that they have taken," he said, in an obvious reference to 1MDB." said Tun M.

Have a look at the reported 16 toll highways where toll may be raised and the year when the concession was signed or started.
I believe what Tun M said is in bad taste as almost all the 16 toll highways that were proposed to increase tolls had their concession periods and price rises  agreed during Tun M's time and the current govt is forced to honour those concession contracts.

The current Najib Govt have NO CHOICE but to either honour those toll price increases as per contract that was singed years before their time or compensate all the toll operators - ada paham tak?

In fact, no toll rates (other than Johor causeway) were raised by Najib's govt and the last toll increase was in 2007.

(The Johor Causeway increase was not a planned toll increase but a retaliatory action against Singapore govt for suddenly increasing their Vehicle Entry Permit rates on Malaysian cars entering Singapore.)

In fact, Najib's govt have been subsidizing toll all contractual toll increases by the private toll operators or have negotiated them.

Najib's government went one step further and nationalized Malaysia's largest toll operator, PLUS highways in 2011 and it now belongs to MOF (51%) and EPF (49%) and in 2012, all PLUS highway toll rates have been renegotiated and there has not been nor will be any further toll increases.

Which is why none of PLUS highway tolls are included in the current list of 16 highways were tolls may be increased.

However, it is important to note that NO DECISION has been made yet on whether to allow any toll increases as this is just an initial proposal to the Cabinet.

I believe Tun M's sindiran is uncalled for since he was the cause of all these toll concessions owned by private companies in the first place while Najib's govt which is left with the burden of Tun M's toll legacy has made actual efforts to relieve the toll burden for the rakyat by not increasing tolls and also for buying back PLUS highways.

Credit should go where credit is due. Tun M's sindiran is badly misplaced in this case.

Lu punya pasal, lain orang tanggung tetapi lu ketawa pulak.

For the record, I am a supporter of the "User pays" concept of toll roads as it allows more highways to be built in a shorter time but many do not share my stand and don't want any toll concepts.
But at the very least, there is no need to laugh or blame the current Najib govt who has to deal with this current problem that was created many many years before their time. That is not fair.

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