Be transparent about highway concessionaires deal, govt urged
Rosli questioned the need for the extension when many of the toll concessions were set to expire in the near future, saying this was unfair to motorists who would have stood to benefit from four toll-free highways soon. Kesas’ concession is supposed to expire next year!
(FMT) – A transport consultant has urged the government to be transparent about non-profit company Amanat Lebuhraya Rakyat Bhd’s (ALR) purchase of four highway concessionaires in the Klang Valley.
Rosli Azad Khan, who has over 30 years of experience in the transport industry, saw no reason to allow ALR an extension on the toll collection when the concessions were set to expire soon.
He told FMT the government should divulge the contents of the new concession agreements, adding that the justification of no hike in toll rates was not good enough.
Rosli questioned the government’s decision to allow ALR to purchase all four concession companies, maintaining that an open tender process was the preferred method.
“Also, how do we know or decide that ALR is a non-profit company? Who owns ALR? Another political crony?” he asked, in calling for greater transparency from the government.
He was commenting on works minister Fadillah Yusof‘s statement that ALR had offered to buy the concessionaires for the LDP, SMART, SPRINT and Kesas highways. The ministry confirmed that the four companies had agreed to this offer.
Fadillah said the government had agreed to extend the concession period of the four highways, with the existing toll rates remaining until the end of their respective concession periods.
But Rosli questioned the need for the extension when many of the toll concessions were set to expire in the near future, saying this was unfair to motorists who would have stood to benefit from four toll-free highways soon. <span style=”color: #800000;”> Kesas’ concession is supposed to expire next year! </span>
He said any decision on the takeover of the highways should have been for the remainder of the original concession period, with no extensions given.
“When the concessions expire, concession holders have to hand them back to the Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) for free, and toll collection will be waived. Motorists can then enjoy a free highway while LLM will manage and maintain the highways.
“This is why it is not fair to extend the concession period and continue to charge tolls when the policy is very clear that the highways should be handed back to the government and motorists using them will not be charged any more toll charges. This is clearly stated in government policy and concession agreements,” he said.
Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Monday that the agreement on the four highways would save the government at least RM4.3 billion in compensation for postponing increases in toll rates throughout the concession periods.