Chua said during that period, he attended a dialogue with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, where he had suggested that Khazanah or EPF should take over the highway concessionaire companies and to restructure the contracts. The Prime Minister agreed to undertake a further review.
“I am happy that my proposal raised in Parliament in 2009 which was also brought up by MCA Ministers during Cabinet meetings, was taken into consideration,” Chua said in a statement today.
“As such with the restructuring of toll concessionaires and the ownership, there will be NO toll rate increase until year 2015. On top of that, the government saves RM6.5 billion in compensation whereby it consists of a RM2.9 billion waiver in outstanding compensation owed by the government and an RM3.6 billion freeze on toll rate increase.”He said this showed that the government is concerned with the impact of toll rates on the people.
“The above announcement shows that the government is committed to reducing the burden of the people,” he added.
He said UEM andPLUS also announce to commit to spend RM 800 million yearly for routine, heavy maintenance and upgrading works, to ensure quality of the roads and facilities in the highways. This shows that nationalization is not sustainable.“Besides that, UEM and EPF also said that toll increases will be lowered from 10 per cent every three years to five per cent at the same intervals. Based on the calculation, starting from year 2016 with a toll rate increase of 5 per cent every 3 years, the toll charges from Kuala Lumpur to Johor Bahru (per trip) will be increased from RM 40.90 to RM 57.55 in 2036, compared with RM 79.77 in 2036 at a 10 per cent increase every 3 years.”
“Although there was a reduction of the toll rate increase, I hope UEM and EPF will relook the rate if the financial condition of PLUS further improves. I believe that toll rate should be based on requirement but not at a fixed basis for long run. With this new arrangement, it is beneficial to EPF and EPF contributors as well.”