Government Postpones Toll Abolishment Because It Will Cost Them RM400 Billion In Revenue
It looks like Malaysians will have to continue forking out toll money, as the government has put plans to abolish tolls on hold indefinitely
At the Dewan Rakyat session on 13 August 2018, Works Minister Baru Bian cited the “high cost of compensating concessionaires” as the reason for the decision.
The answer was in response to a question posed by Datuk Jalaluddin Alias (BN-Jelebu) during Question Time.
Baru Bian explained that the country's economy needs to be stabilised first before abolishing tolls, as the move could cost them RM400 billion
“With that, after taking into consideration other factors, the government agreed to delay the abolishment of tolls until the country’s economic situation stabilises and allows for it,” Baru added.
The minister also said that Pakatan Harapan's pledge to abolish tolls is not included in the 100-day agenda
Baru admitted that the manifesto was made without full knowledge of the country's current financial situation.
“After taking over the government, only then did we know the exact picture and that is why we are postponing it,” said Baru, as quoted in New Straits Times.
Meanwhile, the government will continue to look into other ways to lower the cost of living
However, Baru did not elaborate what these possible avenues could be, saying that the government will be “responsible and practical at the same time” in making such decisions.
Previously, according to Free Malaysia Today, the Works Minister confirmed that there will be no new toll concessionaires.
“I give my assurance they would not be approved.”
Similarly, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan believes that the government should address other priorities before abolishing tolls