Not feasible to take over highways now, says minister

Works minister Alexander Nanta Linggi says the government will revisit the idea when the nation’s finances are in better shape.

(FMT) – The government has no plan to acquire any of the nation’s highways at the current time, works minister Alexander Nanta Linggi told the Dewan Rakyat.

In a written reply to Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PN-Pasir Mas) today, Nanta said the government decided not to acquire any highways because it was not economically feasible.

“The government is ready to reconsider this proposal if the financial situation allows at a later date,” Nanta said.

The possibility of toll highways being taken over was raised in 2019 by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He said the takeover would occur in stages, depending on the state of the country’s finances.

He stated that talks with Gamuda Berhad to take over four motorway concessions in the Klang Valley were undertaken first to fulfil a 2018 general election pledge.

Later that year, then finance minister Lim Guan Eng announced that a new company would provide RM6.2 billion to finance the acquisition of the Kesas, Sprint, Litrak and Smart highway concessionaires at no cost to taxpayers.