Tuesday, November 28, 2006

MORE PICS – LANDSLIDE - 262.6Km N-S Highway; SAMY’s TOLL Hikes 2007; Samy’s ON /OFF RM 3 Bil W Coast Highway (LPB); WHO Would Want To MISS This?

The landslide was really a “mountain in a molehill” by Datuk Samy Vellu. As can be seen in the pics, only 1 dumper tractor was a hand to clear the slide of land from the hill slope at 262.6 km.
And Samy in his usual element was complaining that nobody sayThank you” to the government for the compensations paid to the concessionaries when there was no hike. In the first place, all these crony's highway contracts are skewed in their favors (with the blessing of the government) and they should be reviewed to lessen the burden of the rakyat in view of the present economic situation. (see Below, Anwar's call for reduce fuel prices because of "sluggish economy & rising inflation"

Just be transparent and open up the accounts and see how much they are raking all the way to the banks.

As for the West Coast highway, he announced it was OFF and the next day, EPU needs time to consider and it is ON again. This is fishy, some crony just cannot take NO for an answer and who would it be to grab this golden opportunity.
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Landslide At Menora Tunnel; November 28, 2006 01:15 AM

IPOH, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- A landslide at Km262.6 of the North-South Expressway Monday forced the closure of two south-bound lanes of the highway there.

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said the incident took place at about 7.40 pm Monday.

The landslide occurred at a slope about 200 metres from the Menora Tunnel but there was no loss of life or damage to vehicles, he said in a statement. "Two lanes are closed and cleaning work is being carried out. The fast lane has been opened to traffic and traffic flow is smooth. The situation is under control," he said. Samy Vellu said the two lanes would remain closed until Tuesday morning as a precaution to monitor the slope's stability. He said he had directed PLUS to undertake repairs to ensure that the slope was stable and safe.

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Five highways to charge new rates from Jan 1; Tuesday November 28, 2006

KUALA LUMPUR: Toll rates will be increased for five concessionaires come Jan 1, 2007, according to Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu. He said the Government could not afford to compensate the concessionaires for the Guthrie Corridor Expressway,

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.: "We cannot pay another 2 Billion as compensation. Everytime we pay compensation after compensation, nobody say "Thank you'"

Karak Highway, Grand Saga Cheras-Kajang Highway, Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) and Kesas Shah Alam Highway the estimated RM2bil, if no increase was approved during this round of concession agreements. It is understood that this is how much the Government will have to fork out until the concession agreements lapse. Citing an example, Samy Vellu said the original toll rate when the LDP first opened was RM1.50.

“But because of complaints by the people, it was reduced to RM1. Just because the toll was reduced, it did not mean the balance of 50 sen did not have to be paid,” he said, adding that the Government had to compensate the LDP concessionaire RM68mil last year and RM76mil this year. Samy Vellu said the quantum of increase would only be finalised after a study by the ministry to make sure the increase was reasonable and would not burden the public.

The last toll increase was on Jan 1, 2005, when Plus Expressways increased toll rates by 10% on the North-South Expressway. In April 2002, Kesas highway also raised its rates by between 20 sen and 60 sen. Samy Vellu added that as a matter of policy, the Government would also ensure that if there were two different concessionaires operating on similar routes their toll rates would be identical. Meanwhile, in Petaling Jaya, Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said he hoped that the increase would not apply to buses. “We cannot afford to absorb an increase. We hope that if the increase does apply to buses, then the Government will allow us to pass on the charges to passengers, as allowed for taxis. Pan Malaysia Lorry Operators Association president Er Sui See said if the lorry operators were burdened the increase would be passed on to customer. On another matter, Samy Vellu said the proposal for the 216km West Coast Highway was withdrawn by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) at the last Cabinet meeting. He added that if the Government had carried out the project earlier, it would have been much cheaper, instead of the estimated cost of RM3bil now. Samy Vellu also said he would ask the Cabinet to stop issuing licences for Class F contractors because too many of them were dormant.

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Fomca Urges Govt To Review Toll Concession Agreement; Update: Nov 28 06, 21:50pm

By Mohsin Taib; KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) has urged the government to review the agreements on toll concessions describing them as "one sided" and a burden to the people. Secretary General Mohd Shaani Abdullah said since the government through Tenaga Nasional Bhd could review the contract with the independent power producers (IPPs), the same thing should be done to the toll concession agreements. "If the contract with IPPs can be reviewed, why can't it be done to the companies awarded the toll concessions," he told Bernama here Tuesday. Mohd Shaani was commenting on a statement by Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu on Monday that the five concession companies in the Klang Valley have been allowed to increase toll charges starting Jan 1. The five concessionaires are those operating the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), Shah Alam Highway (KESAS), Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway and the Grand Saga Cheras Highway. Samy Vellu said the increase was aimed at removing some of the RM2 billion subsidy borne by the government. Mohd Shaani said the concession agreements should be reviewed as the companies had collected huge profits due to the high volume of traffic that way surpassed earlier projections. He added the huge profits and high traffic volume were good reasons for the government to call for a review or at least ask for discounts from the companies. "The Minister said the toll increase cannot be avoided. Fomca wants to know why wasn't this thought of before signing the agreements," he added.

= = = = =Some consortium is eying this highway

West Coast Highway Project Has Not Been Shelved; November 28, 2006 12:15 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 (Bernama) -- Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu Tuesday clarified that the RM3 billion West Coast Highway (LPB) has not been shelved. He said the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister's Department had asked for a little more time to study the working paper on the project which was presented by the ministry at the Cabinet meeting last week. "The EPU will resubmit the working paper on the project to the Cabinet," said Samy Vellu in a statement here. He also said that he had informed the Cabinet last week that the project could not be postponed due to rising costs. Samy Vellu was commenting on news reports today which quoted him as saying that the 215.8 km LPB project would be cancelled.
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West Coast Highway Project Put Off; November 27, 2006 19:42 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 (Bernama) -- The West Coast Highway (LPB) linking Taiping in Perak to Banting in Selangor would not be implemented, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said Monday. He said the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) in the Prime Minister's Department last week rejected the proposal from his ministry to build the highway. He, however, did not disclose the reason given by the EPU for rejecting the proposal. "I had informed the Cabinet (last week) that the project must be started. It could not be postponed because the cost might escalate. Currently, the cost is estimated at RM3 billion," he said. He was speaking to reporters after witnessing the signing of a 40-year concession agreement between the Works Ministry and Projek Lintasan Shah Alam Sdn Bhd for the construction of the 14.7km Kemuning-Shah Alam (LKSA) Highway costing RM600 million, here, Monday.

The government was represented by Works Ministry secretary-general Datuk Syed Jamal Syed Jaafar and Malaysian Highway Authority director- general Datuk Ir Mohd Noor Yaacub, while the company was represented by its chairman Tan Sri Hammad Kama Piah Che Othman and director Datuk Ir Jamaludin Osman. Last week, Samy Vellu announced that the government planned to build the 215.8km West Coast Highway. On contractors, Samy Vellu said he would propose to the government to stop issuing the Class F licence which had been frozen. He said only 13,000 out of the 37,000 Class F licence holders were active. The active contractors would be upgraded and allowed to be involved in projects worth more than RM200,000, he said.


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