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Friday, December 15, 2006

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.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

New KL mayor must submit KL20 local plan, 14.12.2006.

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong Dr Tan Seng Giaw hopes that the new Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Abdul Hakim Borhan has a globalised mind, resisting all party polictical pressure and developing KL into a world-class tropical city of light.

Dr Tan comments on the announcement by the Federal Territories Minister Datuk Zulhasan Rafique that Abdul Hakim (55) would replace Datuk Ruslin Hassan as KL mayor yesterday for two years. The former was the Secretary-General at the ministry and the latter had served the City Hall KL for 32 years.

Ruslin had worked hard, seeing changes in the city. He should continue to contribute to the society.

Abdul Hakim has a heavy responsibility. Once he takes up the post, he should submit the local plan of KL20 as soon as possible. The structural plan was announced over a year ago. It aims to make KL a world-class city.

First, the new KL mayor must resist party political pressure, acting in the interest of city folks.

Secondly, CHKL has been working on zero squatter for the city. The date has been deferred a few times. 2007 is the latest year to achieve the target. Abdul Hakim must be fair to all when implementing the policy.

Thirdly, the Housing Development and related bills were passed in the Dewan Rakyat two days ago. The mayor must enforce the laws on housing development, highrise flats and strata titles, consistent with the wishes of the people. It will take time to solve the housing mess taht has piled up for several years.

Fourthly, we must have more closed circuit television (CCTV) to control traffic and security. We need many measures such as multi-storeyed interchanges like the proposed interchange at the 7th Mile Kepong to alleviate traffic jams. Tackling increasing crimes is of immediate concern.

Fifthly, we must preserve all green lungs and maintain effectively all parks, eradicating trespassers.

CHKL is required to look at wide-ranging aspects. The ones mentioned above constitute only a part. We shall continue to put forwards our views and suggestions.

Tan Seng Giaw

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Motorists are very unhappy with big increase in toll rate

DAP National Deputy Chairman and MP for Kepong calls on the Government to prevent big increase in toll rate such as 110% mentioned in the media for the Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP).

Dr Tan comments on the proposed increase in toll rate for four expressways such as LDP and Karak Highway. The Works Minister Datuk Seri V. Samy Vellu says that the Cabinet has yet to approve the percentage of increase.

Today, the media highlight the possible hike of 110% for LDP, that is, from RM1 to RM2.10. This 40-kilometre highway has four toll plazas. Motorists have to pay RM1 at each plaza. Earlier, it was reported that the new rate might be RM1.80.

We do not know the contents of the agreement between the Govenrment and the LDP operator. How much is the Government subsidizing the operator if the rate is not as stated in the agreement? Was the initial rate RM1.50? Motorists pay RM1 and the Government subsidizes 50 sen.

Road users are terribly unhappy with the proposal for a huge increase in the toll rate.
The Cabinet must take this into consideration. A hike of 20 or 30% will make motorists jittery. An increase of 100% is unimaginable.

Tan Seng Giaw