10 July 2019
Press statement by MCA Vice President Datuk Tan Teik Cheng
Concessions, Congestions; Abolishment? Disappointment
During GE14, Pakatan Harapan promised in its manifesto, to immediately abolish tolls upon taking over Putrajaya, to allow Malaysians the ease of using highways with no cost. However, it appears that the promise was indeed too good to be true, as PH’s latest plan of introducing congestion charges essentially allows them to unrestrictedly charge road users forever, verily a scheme among scheme.
Pakatan tried to fool the people by taking over the 4 major highways, pretending to make effort in fulfilling its promises; yet in reality, the takeover method was as MCA President Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong described, giving an advance payment equal to the remaining period (9-23 years) to the concessionaires, on surface appears to be a form of bond financing, but in truth the government is just letting the people themselves foot the bill.
No matter how PH tries to justify, no matter how Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng makes elaborate excuses to rationalise the decision to buy out the 4 major highway concessionaires, it is undeniable that ultimately, the rakyat is the one who pays for it. Buying out the 4 highways through RM6.2 billion bond issuances, rebranding the toll concessions as congestion charges, and toll plazas to continue charging after the concession period, all these still point to the rakyat being the ones who foot the bill.
Lim Guan Eng claims that, the government’s plan to buy out the 4 Gamuda-owned highway concessionaires, would save taxpayers RM5.3 billion as compensation, near RM2 billion concession fares until the conclusion of the concession agreement, and simultaneously not costing the government any money, killing three birds with one stone. What nonsense. Not only is the rakyat not benefitting from this deal, they also have to bear the burden of this overpriced transaction.
Next, the PH government’s decision to offer RM6.2 billion (RM2.8 billion over the actual value), to buy out the 4 highways’ concessionaires, is already an irrational one. Moreover, excluding the Damansara-Puchong Expressway(LDP), the other 3 highways are at an annual deficit. Thus, the government’s decision to offer up such a high price; is it for the purpose of enriching cronies, or to bail out the sinking companies at the expense of the people? These are questions that the Pakatan Harapan should be answering.
Also, the federal government’s approach to abolishing tolls is merely a political gimmick, which can be seen through the insistence of continued toll payments through miscellaneous toll charges. On the contrary, during BN’s time, abolishment of tolls was totally legitimate, with no more additional charges.
No toll abolition in Penang, no toll abolition federally
During GE12, Lim Guan Eng promised, if DAP won in Bagan-one federal and three state seats, they will abolish the Sungai Nyior toll. Yet even though DAP has been govering Penang for 11 years, the toll still remains. At that time, when he was questioned as to why the promise was not fulfilled, he responded that, abolishing tolls is under the purview of the federal government, hence, if DAP takes hold of federal power, not only Sungai Nyior, but all national tolls can be abolished. Today, we see for ourselves, the big liar Lim Guan Eng is, making empty promises for the sake of garnering support.
What the people need is a government that can alleviate their burden, not one that is fluent in fancy politicking, busy making excuses to make sense to their lies.
Datuk Tan Teik Cheng
MCA Vice President