KUALA LUMPUR : The government will finalise toll concession agreement with 31 concessionaires, with some restructured in 2011, upon completion of its review process soon.
Works Minister Baru Bian said the government had the right to review the agreement which was said to be lopsided.
“The agreement was signed between the government and concessionaires. We (the government) was part of the agreement, so we have the right to amend and review it.
“This is an open process and the concessionaires understand the country’s financial situation,” he said in an interview with New Straits Times Press at his office recently.
Baru was commenting on the toll agreement which, among others, prevented Pakatan Harapan from fulfilling its manifesto in the 14th General Election to abolish toll.
Works Minister Baru Bian said the government had the right to review the agreement which was said to be lopsided. Pix by Salhani Ibrahim
The toll agreement, which was said to be lopsided, would cause the government to pay compensation should it decided not to increase the toll rate or to extend the concession period, which subsequently would burden the people.
Commenting further on manifesto promise to abolish toll, Baru said the government was finding the best way to help ease the people’s’ burden to pay toll.
“We must understand that the costs involved for maintenance and highway infrastructure are high. We are looking for the best solutions and will finalise it in near future.”
Baru said he was aware of the people’s sentiment towards the government, urging it to abolish the toll, and called on them to give the government some space and time.
“Only after we came into power did we realise the real problem. Our main problem is limited financial ability.
“To pay compensation (for toll abolishment) is to use the peoples’ money.
“We use the people’s money to pay concessionaires.
“I have explained it to the top level management. If they insist to pay compensation, it is unfair to the people in Sabah, Sarawak, Kelantan and Perlis (as they have no tolls).
“We want to make sure all people are happy.” © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd