KUALA LUMPUR JULY 9: The proposal to take over four toll highway concessions amounting to RM6.2 billion does not affect any cost to the government.
Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng said the cost of taking over the four toll highway concessions namely KESAS, LDP, SPRINT and SMART will be paid through bond issuance.
“The Ministry of Finance has made the offer to the four toll highway concession companies on June 21 after Prime Minister; Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has approved the proposal but with the condition, the offer gets approval from shareholders and creditors to the four companies.
“The proposal, on the whole, is yet to be approved by the Cabinet Ministers,” said Guan Eng in Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) in the questions and answers to minister (MQT) session here today.
The question was raised by Member of Parliament for Ayer Hitam, Datuk Seri Ir. Dr. Wee Ka Siong who wants to know the government’s rational to take over the four toll highway concessions with an offer of RM6.2 billion.
Ka Siong also asked the source of money to pay the concession companies and why the congestion charge is issued to replace the toll and what is its benefit to the people.
Guan Eng added the congestion charge is sufficient to pay the bank the bond debts amounting RM6.2billion, operational costs and maintenance of the highways without incurring any government expenses.
“With the congestion charge, the government will give discount up to 30% out of peak time and toll-free not on peak time. The users at the four highways will save up to RM180 million a year and in other words, it will save the household expenses in the same amount,” he said.
Guan Eng also mentioned with the taking over of the four highways, it will indirectly save the taxpayers at least RM5.3 billion in the form of compensations to the concession companies to freeze the highway tolls until the concession’s term expired.
“The government will also save RM5.3 billion to help the people in years to come,” he said.- Malaysia World News