Reconsider decision to allow up to 60% in the new rates for highways, 15.12.2006.
Reconsider the decision to allow toll rate hike of up to 60% for five Klang Valley highways 15.12.2006.
DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw calls on the Government to reconsider the decision to permit the increase in toll rates for the five Klang Valley highways of between 20% to 60%. At the same time, we hope that the authorities will have a new strategy to alleviate the jams along these highways. After paying the new toll rates, motorists still have to face traffic congestion.
Dr Tan comments on the announcement yesterday by the Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu that the Cabinet had approved new toll rates for five Klang Valley highways.
The new rates for cars using the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) is
RM1.60 up from RM1; Shah Alam Highway RM2.20 (up from RM1.50); Cheras-Kajang Highway RM1 and 90 sen for Batu 9 and Batu 11, respectively (up from 30 sen each); KL-Karak Highway RM5 for its Gombak exit (up RM1) and RM3 for its Bentong exit (up 50 sen); and Guthrie Corridor Expressway RM1.40 (up 40 sen).
As the economy slows and business is not good, the new toll rates will be a burden to the people. While Samy talks glibly on the hike, the government compensates highway concessionaires RM2.589 billion. If the Cabinet does not allow them to increase toll rates according to the agreements, they demand compensation.
It seems that the Government has looked at the effects of the new rates before approval. We hope it reconsiders the decision to allow up to 60% increase in the toll rates.
For decades, road concessionaires have signed agreements with the government. We do not know the contents of these agreements. Apparently, if concessionaires cannot increase the toll rates according to the agreements, then the government must pay compensation.
On the one hand, we urge the Government against allowing too high an increase in these rates, causing shock waves among motorists. On the other hand, we request the authorities to relieve traffic congestion along these highways. The government cannot build roads fast enough to keep pace with the increase in the number of cars. This is applicable to other parts of the world. The Government protects national cars, encouraging Malaysians to own as many cars as possible.
The Government promotes public transport such as commuter train, monorail, light rail transit and buses. But, the quality of this form of transport must be improved, making it more attractive to the public.