No time frame to take over Gamuda highways - Lim



The government has not set a time frame for when it will take over the four highways from Gamuda Bhd, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

He said an announcement on the matter would only be made once all the goals of the takeover have been met.

He said the first condition is that it should not impose on the country any additional debt burden and debt service payments.

"The second is savings for the government by not having to pay compensation, and the third is savings to the people through reduced toll rates,” he told reporters after the Malaysian Investor Relations Association (MIRA) Awards 2018/2019 luncheon in Kuala Lumpur today.

During the tabling of Budget 2020, Lim said the cabinet had approved the Ministry of Finance’s (MoF) proposed acquisitions of the four Klang Valley highways - the Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas), the Damansara-Puchong Expressway (LDP), the Sprint Expressway (Sprint) and Smart Tunnel (Smart).

The government would pay RM6.2 billion to acquire the four highways.

The minister also added that the requirement is the same for the Plus highways takeover - that the goals should be realised first.

Meanwhile, asked on news about Goldman Sachs’ offer to pay only a fraction of Malaysia’s initial claim for its role in the 1MDB fiasco, Lim said the government has not received any offer from the investment bank.

He added that the government is still maintaining the claim of US$7.5 billion.

"I do not know where the US$2 to US$3 billion came from, because we have got no firm offers from Goldman Sachs.

"Of course Attorney-General (AG) Tommy Thomas would know better, but so far there have been no firm offers.

“As far as instructions by the AG, it's still at US$7.5 billion," he added.

It was recently reported that Malaysian negotiators are considering settling for a fraction of the amount. 

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