Toll Price gonna increased? New toll rates?
New toll rates may be deferred following public outcry
KUALA LUMPUR: A toll increase announced yesterday by the Works Minister for five major highways may be put on hold following a public outcry and the Prime Minister also calling for a review.
Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohammed had earlier revealed that toll for PLUS’ North-South Expressway (NSE), Sprint Highway, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (Akleh), Sungai Besi Highway (Besraya) and the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) would be raised simultaneously from Sunday.
The increase for the NSE will be 5%, or 0.68sen per km. For the other highways, the increase ranges from 10 sen to 50 sen.
The increase will affect all classes of vehicles, the exception being buses on the Sungai Besi Highway.
Reacting to the announcement from Pattaya, Thailand, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called for a review of the decision, which he said was made two or three weeks ago.
He said the Cabinet would meet today to discuss other ways to compensate the toll concessionnaires.
Under the new rates announced, the toll for the 734km NSE journey from Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) in the north to Kempas (Johor) in the south will be adjusted to RM113.40, up from RM108, while a trip from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh will be increased from RM26.50 to RM27.90.
Mohd Zin described the rates as minimal and hoped that the people would understand that the increases were stipulated in the concession agreements the Government had signed.
“The increase was actually due in January last year but we have postponed it until now. This means the Government has been paying compensation for 14 months,’’ he told a press conference at the Works Ministry yesterday.
Mohd Zin said the compensation amounted to RM277mil with RM177mil going to PLUS, RM38mil to Sprint and RM30mil to AKLEH.
Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Datuk Mohammed Razali Othman, who was present, said some of the concessionnaires got full increases while some only half, as outlined in the concession agreements.
“Any shortfall will be compensated by the Government,” he said.
The announcement to increase the rates comes after the Salak Jaya toll (south-bound) was abolished on Tuesday and the toll at PJS2 (Kuala Lumpur-bound) of the New Pantai Expressway was done away with on Feb 13.
Mohd Zin said the toll increase should not be politicised, stressing that it was a contractual obligation on the Government’s part.
Source : TheStar
On the same day itself, there’s another update saying that Toll Price will not be increased. No increased. It remain the same but Government would have to fork out an additional RM287mil to pay the concessionaires! Wow. Is this a good news for you? For me, I seldom use toll unless jam or what, but if they increase I will never use the toll because it’s so expensive.
Toll hike postponed indefinitely
KUALA LUMPUR: The toll hike for five major highways that was set to take place on Sunday has been postponed indefinitely.
Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohammed said the decision was made due to the negative public reaction and the current economic situation.
“When the announcement was made, there was negative public reaction. As a result, the Cabinet decided today (Friday) to postpone the toll hike indefinitely,” he told a press conference at the Works Ministry here on Friday.
The toll hike, had it taken place, would have increased toll rates on the North-South Expressway by 0.68sen per km; the Sprint Highway by between 30sen and 50sen; the Sungai Besi Highway (Besraya) by 10sen; the Ampang-Kuala Lmpur Elevated Highway (Akleh) by 50sen and the New Pantai Expressway (NPE) by 40sen.
The announcement met with strong opposition from consumer groups, lorry and bus associations as well as Members of Parliament from both sides of the House.
They said it was not a good time to increase toll rates considering the economic situation.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is in Thailand for the Asean Defence Ministers meeting, had also asked for the decision to be reconsidered.
Mohd Zin said as a result of the toll hike cancellation, the Government would have to fork out an additional RM287mil to pay the concessionaires – PLUS (RM195mil), Sprint (RM36mil), Akleh (RM27mil), Besraya (RM9mil) and NPE (RM20mil) – for the period Jan 1 to Dec 31 this year.
Mohd Zin said RM245mil was already paid to PLUS, Akleh and Sprint in the form of compensation due to a scheduled increase in January last year that did not take place.
“The Finance Ministry will prepare the compensation as stipulated in the concession agreement.”
Mohd Zin said the money being used for compensation was also the public’s money that could have been used to implement other projects that could benefit the entire country.
Meanwhile, in Putrajaya, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the toll hike postponement was not meant to woo voters in the three upcoming by-elections.
He said the toll hike was put off because the public protested and was unhappy with the hike, even though the decision meant that the government would have to fork out a substantial amount of money to compensate the five highway concessionaires.
“This is not an election gimmick. This is not to attract voters (to support Barisan Nasional) and they have our undertaking that it (toll rates) will not be increased once the by-elections are over,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters on Friday.
Three by-elections will be held within the next few months – in Bukit Gantang (Perak), Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and also in Batang Ai (Sarawak).
The Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat fell vacant when its MP, Roslan Shahrum of PAS died on Feb 9 while the Bukit Selambau state seat is empty when assemblyman V. Aurumugam resigned on Feb 8. The by-elections for the two constituencies will be held on April 7.
The Batang Ai state seat in Sarawak is vacant following the death of its assemblyman Datuk Dublin Unting and the Election Commission will decide on polling date for this seat on March 4.
Najib also confirmed that the postponement was indefinite.
“We do not know for how long as it will depend on our affordability (to pay compensation). We will make whatever necessary decision when the time comes.
“But by not increasing the toll rates, the government has to fork out an additional RM500million a year and that is tax payers’ money,” he said.
Najib said the increase announced by the Works Ministry earlier was a “moderate increase” and the government had to pay more compensation if there was no increase at all.
“The amount will be substantial and it will add up over the years. But the public is so averse to any increase; which I understand.
“So the government decided not to increase but this means we will have to set aside more money for compensation,” he said.
On Thursday, Mohd Zin announced that road users would have to pay a higher toll when using the North-South Expressway (PLUS), the Sprint/Kerinchi/Damansara Link highways, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Expressway (AKLEH), Sungai Besi Highway and the New Pantai Expressway (NPE).
For the PLUS highway, it was a 5% increase. This meant that toll charges from Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah to Kempas in Johor would increase from RM108 to RM113.40.
A trip from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh would increase from RM26.50 to RM27.90.
For the Sprint/Kerinchi/Damansara Link highways, it was an increase of between 30sen and 50sen.
The Sungai Besi Highway was to see an increase of 10sen, while the AKLEH and NPE were to be increased by 50sen and 40sen respectively.
Mohd Zin had said the increase was minimal and hoped the public understood that the increase was stipulated in the concession agreements that the Government had signed.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, however, urged for the decision to increase the toll rates to be reconsidered.
He said the matter will be discussed in the Cabinet meeting Friday, which will be chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“People are having difficulties. The situation is not right for a toll hike. I feel that this matter needs to be discussed again in the Cabinet.
”The decision may come in the form of measures that will included in the second stimulus package or through some other measures,” he had said in Pattaya, where he was attending the Asean Defence Minister’s Meeting.
Source : TheStar
Gov’t U-turn: Toll hike put off
In a dramatic reversal, the government has decided to suspend toll hike of up to 33 percent for five major highways in Klang Valley announced yesterday.
-Toll hike put back to Dec 31, 2009
-Gov’t to pay RM287 mil in compensation
Source : MalaysiaKini