Charging congestion fees not the same as abolishing tolls

Wee Ka Siong

Modified 25 Feb 2019, 3:55 am

MP SPEAKS | Changing existing toll charges to peak-period congestion fees is certainly not the same as abolishing toll charges.

Pakatan Harapan leaders have lied about their professional qualifications and now they want to lie about what was supposed to be abolished?

"To start the negotiation process with Gamuda", is merely the beginning stage of the negotiations.  Even if these negotiations were successful, charges will continue to be imposed.

This is far from the promise made before the general election to abolish toll charges.

How long is the negotiation term? Five years or infinity?

Even if there is a timeframe, it will all just be lip service just like the recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate - 'it will be recognised after taking over the government', 'it will be recognised before year-end'; all these are just empty promises.

Has the government conducted any in-depth research on peak-period congestion fees? Singapore only started implementing such a fee collection system on selected roadways after much research and the proper zoning/planning of its central business district. 

What technical study has Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's government conducted before starting its negotiation with Gamuda?

Why was such an announcement made prior to the Semenyih by-election? To give more false hope to the voters?

After nine months, the government has only started the negotiation process. The government must give an explanation for its delay. 

It must show an implementation schedule for the fulfilment of its promises to abolish toll charges, not any other form of collecting road charges, be it congestion charge or other names.

To Sim Tze Tzin and Wong Kah Woh who have been silent on many important issues, do they support or oppose the timetable that the government  announced in implementing the “abolition of toll fees”? 

Why are they still supporting Mahathir even when the election promise has changed? Why are they still having the guts to support another form of road charge which is called the congestion charge? Shame on you! 

Abolition simply means no more collection of toll and other charges.

Lastly, there is a need for me to correct Sim. My qualification is not merely a Bachelor of Civil Engineering degree. In fact, before he had received his Masters of Engineering in Transport Engineering, I had already obtained a Master in Traffic Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

I had also worked as a research assistant at the Centre for Transportation Studies under the School of Civil & Structural Engineering NTU, which gave me the opportunity to study Singapore’s peak-period traffic usage collection mechanism.

During my PhD studies, my thesis centred on transport planning. Even though my qualification is slightly higher than Sim in the same field, I have no intention of undermining him.

I have great respect for his qualification as it was a genuine Master's degree, unlike some Harapan leaders with fake qualifications.

WEE KA SIONG is the MP for Ayer Hitam and the president of MCA.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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