GEORGE TOWN, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today wanted the people to evaluate for themselves the benefit they will receive from the 18 per cent toll reduction and not to be misled by calculations made by the opposition.
He said the opposition was out to confuse people by raising questions on the longer concession period.
There are certain quarters who do not know how to calculate by saying that people are losing when we (the government) extended the concession period for another 20 years (to 2058) and reduced toll rate by 18 per cent.
They failed to mention that during their time in the government, they didn’t reduce the toll rate. Instead, they increased it by five per cent for every three years, Lim told reporters after attending Chinese New Year Open House hosted by Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament Ramkarpal Singh, here.
Lim explained that by reducing the toll rate, the government would be saving RM28 billion in terms of compensation.
The opposition has been asking why the government didn’t abolish the toll, we can abolish it but in order to do that, we have to come out with money to be paid to concessionaires amounting to tens of billions. If the previous Barisan Nasional government didn’t ‘kebas’ the money, we could afford to buy out the entire concessions.
That’s why we were looking for another alternative, extending the concession period for another 20 years with a toll reduction of 18 per cent and it will not increase until 2058, he explained.
Lim pointed out that the opposition omitted the fact that the government had to pay compensation to the concessionaires if toll increase was refused.
Yesterday, millions of Malaysians began to enjoy the 18 per cent toll rate reduction at New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), North-South Expressway Central Link (ELITE), Second Link Expressway (Linkedua), East Coast Highway Phase 2 (LPT2). Seremban-Port Dickson Highway and Kulim-Butterworth Highway (BKE).
The toll reduction decided at the Cabinet meeting on Jan 15 is for all the passenger vehicle, bus and taxi.
The same discount is also given to category 2, 3, 4 and 5 vehicles using Penang Bridge.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency