Guan Eng Slams PN’s Review of 18% Discount for PLUS Toll Charges as “Revenge Politics”

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DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng is livid that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government is considering to review the toll concessions for the North-South Expressway (PLUS) Project as introduced by the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

The 18 percent discount was set to run until the end of its concession period in 2058 and would have saved the government RM42 billion without having to pay compensation.

“DAP condemns the intention of PN to review PH’s policy implementation of 18 percent toll discount to PLUS highway, fixed throughout the concession period without toll hikes, as part of PH’s first step towards progressive abolition of tolls.

“Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof was quoted as saying the review of the 18 percent toll discount was necessary because of its impact on the National Privatisation Policy and will be brought to Cabinet soon,” Lim said in a statement.

“Clearly PN is carrying out revenge politics by dismantling bit by bit all the singular policies implemented by PH, including the 18 percent toll discount of PLUS highways.”

Lim, who also the former finance minister, said the government could save RM600 million in 2020 from not having to pay compensation while the public would save up to RM500 million from the reduced toll charges.

In order not to pay any compensation to PLUS due to the reduced toll charges, PLUS’ contract to operate the highways was extended for another 20 years as the original contract was set to expire in 2018.

Using Penang as an example, Lim said abolishing the discount would mean that users of the first Penang bridge will have to pay RM7 instead of RM5.74, while those opting for the second Penang bridge will have to pay RM8.50 instead of RM5.74.

“This benefit given by PH could be probably dispossessed by PN’s revenge politics,” Lim added.

“This is short-sighted and irresponsible when so many PLUS users are affected.”

PLUS Expressways comprise the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), Seremban-Port Dickson highway, North South Expressway Central Link (ELITE), Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (LINKEDUA), East Coast Expressway Phase 2 (LPT2), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE) and the two Penang bridges. – MMO