A long long time ago, our 4th Prime Minister asked a company to build the North-South expressway. Actually, no one knows if the company will be profitable when the expressway is completed and the tolls started. That was why some people say it is a waste of money and even objected to it strongly. Fortunately, it was built because connectivity enabled lots of new economic activities to happen. People from different places could also travel to other places for holidays and this helped the nation and not just confine growth to the capital city for example. Now, the rakyat is somehow waiting for the abolishment of all tolls. Someone said that to abolish it, the government will need to only pay RM20 billion. Well, that number is now said to be as high as RM400 billion. So, to abolish or not to abolish?
Works Minister Baru Bian said, the ministry had received several proposals from the highway concession companies involved and it would evaluate all proposals before making a decision. Thus, the decision on abolishing highway toll collection will be known in two to three months. His words, ““We are still negotiating to find a solution mutually beneficial to both stakeholders and the new government. What would be decided then would be the best solution to all stakeholders. I believe it would then be implemented. I understand all stakeholders are very positive with the economic situation we are in at the moment. Because of that, they are very understanding. We hope there will be mutual understanding and there will be a mutual conclusion and agreement.” The proposals include rebates, an extension of highway concessions and giving discounts. Please read the full article in FreeMalaysiaToday here.
Personally, I have never believed that tolls could be abolished, whether it’s before GE14 or after. The reason is because if the government takes over a profitable entity, it must compensate the business accordingly. There are many shareholders in these expressway companies and even my EPF money is invested in them. These investments meant EPF pays me returns year after year. It’s not going to be easy to find other companies with stable returns easily. If the government were to FORCE the company to accept, then I can safely say that in future, if there are such ‘risky’ investments, the good companies will not want to be part of the deal. They come in when the risks are so high and put all their money. Yet when the business is profitable, the government will force them to sell? Hmm… Anyway, since the Works Minister said 2-3 months, so let’s wait for the decision in 2-3 months then. Happy following.
written on 6th Oct 2018
Next suggested article: Reasons for hotspots? Some reasons here