DAP says toll extension punishes Penang folk

By Shannon Teoh | November 17, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The DAP said today PLUS Expressways is “cheating” the public especially Penang folk by extending toll collection on three highways as part of a deal that sees the highway concessionaire waive RM6.5 billion in compensation from the government.

Secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the 17-year toll extension on the Penang Bridge to 2038 was “in fact a toll increase.”

“What waiver? They are cheating. I thought only my children will pay the toll but now even my grandchildren will pay. This deal punishes Penangites,” the island’s chief minister told a press conference.

Publicity chief Tony Pua also said that with two of the three extensions affecting Penang specifically, “most of the burden of covering the waiver falls on Penangites.”

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP noted that toll on the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway will also be extended by 12 years to 2038, while that on the NSE Central Link would be extended by eight years.

Lim (picture), who is also Bagan MP, said that PLUS should stop collecting toll after collecting over RM24 billion from the North-South Expressway alone.

“The construction cost is only RM6 billion, so they’ve made over three times their cost,” he said.

UEM Group Berhad and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the new owners of the assets of PLUS Expressways, announced yesterday they had waived their right to some RM6.5 billion in compensation in exchange for extensions to the concession periods up to 2038 for the three highways.

UEM and EPF also said that toll increases for the North-South Expressway (NSE), the crown jewel of PLUS, will be lowered from 10 per cent every three years to five per cent at the same intervals, while the Penang Bridge will see no increase.

The government owed PLUS billions in compensation due to the decision to freeze unpopular toll hikes that were stipulated in the original concession agreement, until 2015.

Following the signing of the new agreements with the government last week, the revised concession agreements and assets will be placed under Project Lebuhraya Usahasama Berhad (PLUS Berhad), a wholly-owned subsidiary of PLUS Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

PLUS Malaysia is the investment vehicle owned 51 per cent by Khazanah subsidiary UEM Group and 49 per cent by EPF.

EPF and UEM had last November proposed to privatise PLUS Expressways for RM23 billion but with the condition that the toll concessions be revised.

With the revised concessions now agreed upon with the government, PLUS Malaysia will proceed to complete the acquisition of assets and liabilities of PLUS Expressways by next month, after which the latter will be delisted.

PLUS Expressways currently has about RM33 billion in outstanding loans.

  1. #1 by monsterball on Thursday, 17 November 2011 - 9:00 pm

    The UMNO b government is all about money…in whichever ways they can get.
    Where money is concern….they don’t care they are hurting the very people who supported them before or now.
    Without money….how else can they promote race and religion politics?
    They must put out baits to catch the fishes and he bait is money.
    If they continue to govern…even Lim Guan Eng’s great grand children may have to pay the Penang bridge tolls.

  2. #2 by bruno on Thursday, 17 November 2011 - 9:45 pm

    It is grab as much as you can,while the Kobe cows make hay.When the cows are done so are the robber barrons.

  3. #3 by bruno on Thursday, 17 November 2011 - 9:53 pm

    if some voters are not as greedy for the meagre 50-100 ringgit danggling in front of them once every 4-5 years,these ruling elites would have been long gone.It is these voters who are responsible for the shape the country is in.If these voters are still sleeping come GE13th,they will be living naked on tree tops after the GE13th.

  4. #4 by cintanegara on Thursday, 17 November 2011 - 11:21 pm

    Incompetent leader like LGE always has the tendency to tai chi his weaknesses and pick on others.

  5. #5 by assamlaksa on Thursday, 17 November 2011 - 11:36 pm

    This looks like an insurance for umno, in case they lose putrajaya they still have steady stream of income through uem for extended period.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Friday, 18 November 2011 - 12:48 am

    It seems the more Lim Guan Eng is doing a fantastic job Penangites……the more idiotic reasons put out by cintanegara.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Friday, 18 November 2011 - 12:51 am

    I wonder does he really understand what incompetent means.
    Almost all in the Federal Government are…yet he is so blind…cannot see.

  8. #8 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 18 November 2011 - 6:31 am

    All such schemes have been designed to enslave ALL MALAYSIANS for generations to come. What is better than to get gullible MALAYSIANS to enslave themselves financially through supporting BN in this manner for year to come; provided that they are still here to boss the people
    The firt action the PR Gomen should do when they come to power should be to nationalise all public projects that affect the life of ordinary people and national interests. The poor management in gomen owned institutions is not because of public ownership but the kind of managers we put to manage them. Just look at some of the large municipal=owned ports in Europe; for that matter see what Singapore can do with PSA?
    They are all owned by the Gomen or public entities but MANAGED in a private manner with targetted outputs. I knew of a senior statutory officer who once proposed to the Gomen that the CEOs of public-owned bodies should be given a short contract of 2 to 3 years, albeit renewal, upon positive result of their management; he was chastised by many other senior officers in the service! Malaysians have only ONE choice in their life! And we all know that choice!

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