Now, Dr M says no decision on highway takeover from Gamuda

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the government has yet to decide on purchasing four highways from construction giant Gamuda Bhd.

“We haven’t decided on it,” he told reporters after attending a dialogue with industry captains at a technical and vocational education and training conference here.

Mahathir’s statement comes hours after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said in a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat that the Cabinet had agreed in principle to the takeover on Feb 27.

Lim said although the proposal was accepted by the concessionaires in which Gamuda has a stake, it is still subject to the Cabinet’s approval.

Last month, it was reported that Gamuda had accepted the proposed offer by the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) to purchase all of the group’s equity stake in four highway companies.

The companies are Kesas Sdn Bhd (Kesas), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Sdn Bhd (Sprint), Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd (Litrak) and Syarikat Mengurus Air Banjir dan Terowong Sdn Bhd (SMART).

This followed the announcement by Lim that the government had made a RM6.2 billion bid to take over four concessions of tolled highways.

He said this could save taxpayers RM5.3 billion in compensation to the concessionaires to stop them from increasing their toll rates.

Gamuda has a significant stake in all four highways. It owns a 44% stake in Litrak, 52% in Sprint, 70% in Kesas and 50% in SMART.