Highway takeover: Mahathir should burn the manifesto book and apologise

Mahathir put the “cost of acquiring” the concessionaires as among reasons tolls could not be abolished, as according to him, the GoM was dry and needed to charge users to pay for the purchase. Source (pic): TTF Files

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed that the Government of Malaysia has no plans to abolish tolls, meaning, the Pakatan Harapan manifesto pledge was fabricated to win the 14thgeneral election.

Previously, Mahathir told newsmen that the money used to pay the concessionaires would come from the taxpayer, meaning, even if you’re a Kelantanese living in Kelantan, you’re still going to end up subsidising rides for people like Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan in the Klang Valley. 

Mahathir made it clear that PH isn’t the least bit interested in finding alternate sources of revenue to purchase highways if the purchase is going to be “all loss, no gain.”

In other words, the manifesto book, which gave the impression that PH was all about “struggling with people on the principle of give and take,” was nothing but work of fiction.


SUBANG JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad confirmed that the Government of Malaysia has no plans to abolish tolls, meaning, the Pakatan Harapan manifesto pledge was fabricated to win the 14thgeneral election.

Speaking to reporters in Putrajaya yesterday, the Prime Minister said the GoM was still considering Maju Holding Sdn Bhd’s proposal pertaining the takeover of four highway concessionaires.


“We are looking into the proposal. They (Maju Holdings) propose that there has to be toll collection, without which they are unable to make the purchase as they will not get the returns.

“Their proposal includes lowering the toll rate. They want to do various other things, repair the roads … we are looking into the matter,” he said.

Mahathir put the “cost of acquiring” the concessionaires as among reasons tolls could not be abolished, as according to him, the GoM was dry and needed to charge users to pay for the purchase.

“The other thing is that if we manage to buy, we have to spend money to maintain the toll. So, the public must understand the problem that we face,” he said.

That’s another way of saying that the GoM wants taxpayers to continue paying toll and won’t seek alternatives to offset their burden.

Actually, this isn’t the first time Mahathir has said something to the effect.

On the 26th of February 2019, TTF posted:

Mahathir told newsmen that the money used to pay the concessionaires would come from the taxpayer, meaning, even if you’re a Kelantanese living in Kelantan, you’re still going to end up subsidising rides for people like Tan Sri Ananda Krishnan in the Klang Valley. Tell me, does that not mean millions of folks who don’t live in the Klang Valley will end up paying toll for highways they don’t use?

And who’s going to decide the average daily volume in traffic during “off-peak” hours anyway? Currently, the department of statistics can easily get data off toll concessionaires by looking at their collection records. When you don’t have collection, you don’t have records. So who’s going to do the estimates and how are they going to be done? Will this not open the doors for manipulation and corruption?

Mahathir has made it clear that PH isn’t the least bit interested in finding alternate sources of revenue to purchase highways if the purchase is going to be “all loss, no gain.”

In other words, the manifesto book, which gave the impression that PH was all about “struggling with people on the principle of give and take,” was nothing but work of fiction.

Truth is, the coalition is all about “you give, I take” and is much like the typical nasi kandar stall operator who is seldom willing to absorb increases in raw material cost.

For instance, if the price of a kilogram of flour were to increase by fourty cents, you will find most nasi kandar operators increasing the price of their roti canais by ten cents a bread even if a kilogram of flour can make you twenty to thirty breads.

Absorbing the fourty cents is never in their vocabulary. As far as these operators go, you wouldn’t feel the pinch if the increase is a mere ten cents per bread as the increase is affordable to many.

In the process, a typical operator ends up earning an extra RM2.6 per kg each time the price of flour goes up.

It’s all about money.

And it isn’t wrong to be “about money” as the cost of maintaining highways tends to go up too.

The GoM made it clear that it does not want to absorb the difference let alone the existing cost of maintenance.

So it needs to come clean on its desire to operate more like a nasi kandar and less like the “Government of a new Malaysia.”

It is time people learnt to swallow the truth with a pinch of salt and realise that they were conned into thinking that PH was “Godsend to save Malaysia by abolishing tolls” and what have you.

All we want is for Mahathir to apologise for misleading the people and burn the manifesto book in public so that we can stop worrying about the book and focus on improving the economy.

That way, we can think about increasing minimum wage so that the average breadwinner can afford to purchase PH’s salt.

THE THIRD FORCE

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