Yoursay: Harapan needs to come clean on cost of toll takeover


Modified 27 Feb 2019, 6:24 am

YOURSAY | 'Remember, we are talking about public funds here.'

Putrajaya going to take over tolls one by one, says Azmin

YTMQ: Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali says Putrajaya’s takeover of toll concessions will be done in stages. But the compensation to be paid to toll operators would most likely include the costs of corruption and cronyism of yesteryear.

If the cost structure reveals unreasonably high costs of corruption and cronyism, then you must involve the Attorney-General’s Chambers with a view to invalidating the concession agreements, so that the compensation amounts can be reduced.

To that end, there must be full disclosure to the public of the negotiation process and the cost structure. Azmin would be failing in his duties as an elected public official being in charge of the ministry if he does otherwise.

Remember, we are talking about public funds here. Don't just be a yes man and take instructions from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his adviser, Daim Zainuddin.

Teej Dhillon: I agree with YTMQ. Most of these toll arrangements have embedded corruption costs, and are inflated to the point where the cost of highways have already been recovered manifold.

They serve merely to prop up consortiums without a care for the common person. It is high time someone cancelled their toll arrangements and fight it out in court, as toll charges have been excessive for many years.

Wira: The key issue started when the BN administration freely gave legally binding concessions to cronies and rent-seekers without going through a tender process, thereby making the concession unnecessarily expensive.

Indeed, every tolled highway would probably be least 20 percent cheaper, thereby making the buyback a lot cheaper.

Clever Voter: Nationalising entities such as toll concessionaires is not difficult. National interest demands that the government strike a balance between public need and affordability.

All of these deals stink somewhere – they are lopsided, with government interests compromised and profit remaining the primary motivator.

It was a cash till for the old regime and its rent-seekers, and one of the major leaks in the Treasury.

Fellow Malaysian: Albeit taking nearly a decade, Azmin's successful negotiation involving Selangor's water concessionaires deserves praise.

This makes him the right person to be given the task and mandate to deal with Gamuda Bhd on the possibility of the takeover of the four Klang Valley highways.

Anonymous #33227154: It's prudent and realistic for Pakatan Harapan to reform Malaysia step by step. It's not easy to undo all the harm caused by Umno-BN for the past 60 years.

Now that the corrupted regime has been removed, there is hope for Malaysia. Harapan needs more time. It is better than going back to the devil we have known so well for so long.

Rupert 16: If the Harapan government is serious about easing the cost of living with respect to toll charges and easing congestion during peak hours at the same time, it should give a 50 percent discount during non-peak hours from 9pm to 7am, and from 10am to 3pm Mondays to Fridays.

This discount should also apply to Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. This will be in line with the Singapore system, and which is a proven model for us to emulate.

TCM: Putrajaya’s actions will speak for themselves. Just go ahead and do it and do not get bogged down by dissenters. Don’t analyse until paralysed.

We know that even if the government declared all highways toll-free, critics will come up with something like, “Why hasn’t the highway been re-tarred? It’s been two weeks.”

Umno calls Putrajaya's move on toll concessions a bailout of Gamuda

Multiracial: Acting BN chairperson Mohamad Hasan questioning the government’s move to acquire the four highway concessions that Gamuda has a stake in would be a good point made by the opposition, if BN ran a clean government.

But unfortunately, it did not. BN stole the rakyat’s money to the tune of billions of ringgit. All those who are criticising the abolition of tolls now didn’t utter a word when former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was in power then.

So this criticism comes off as a bit distasteful.

Nain: Hasan says abolishing tolls on highways is not a priority now as there are many who need the government's assistance at present.

He complains about replacing BR1M (Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia) with BSH (Bantuan Sara Hidup), and says he would agree if the government borrows money to help the people in the rural areas and upgrade health facilities.

But when Najib was in charge, I don’t recall him or other BN leaders saying anything about helping the needy.

They only corrupted the minds of the people with BR1M, funded by the crumbs from funds stolen from 1MDB and other loaded state entities.

Anonymous cdb4fb5d: BN is just jealous Harapan is going to banish tolls. Another two to three years in charge, the latter would have fulfilled most of the pledges in its manifesto.

This would make it near impossible for BN and their newfound allies PAS to come back to power – if they are still around by then.

Wave goodbye to the racist and extremists. The country has to move on to catch up with the rest of the world.

Anonymous_bb046530: It’s easy to say anything when you don’t have to show facts. Can Mohamad show proof that this is a bailout?

Oscar Kilo: Gamuda does not need a bailout. In fact, the company probably doesn’t want their cash cows to be acquired by the government. Mohamad is talking nonsense.

Gamuda shares plunge after Putrajaya's bid to take over highways

Wira: I wonder who that BN leader is who said that the toll renegotiation was a bailout for Gamuda?

TCM: If the takeover of the four expressways was a bailout for Gamuda, shouldn't the market react positively and prop up the share price?

Perhaps, those driving the market did not get a ‘Cambridge’ degree.

YTMQ: An analyst said that this toll deal will “result in an earnings vacuum.” This pretty much sums the story of leading conglomerates.

Without false monopolies created by the government to get consumers to pay up, these conglomerates will be plunging from the metaphorical airplane with no parachute.

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