Thursday, December 14, 2006

WHY THE TOLL HIKES? To Bail out the Privatised Companies - 11 Billion Wasted on 7 Companies; Revised the Concessions Agreement – Formca urged

For Latest TOLL HIKE Protest (21st Jan 07, Sun; at CHERAS) Go H E R E

On..MORE PICTURES & BRUTALITYANTI TOLL HIKE PROTEST on SUN:, Jan 21 07 Cheras Turned SOUR; 21 ARRESTED; 4 Injured Seeking Hospital Treatment; Detained includes-Tian Chua, Dr Hatta Rami & Ronnie Liu

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For the last Protest on 14 JAN 07; Go To H E R E on

MORE PICS – TOLL HIKE PROTEST - Gombak Toll Plaza -14 JAN 07; HUNDREDS PROTESTED Despite RAIN; Also Call on Government to LOWER Fuel Prices & Other Tariffs

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Check aslo the MOTHER OF ALL PROTEST: Bandar Sunway on 7th Jan 2007

Go H E R E

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UPDATE: Dec 14 06; 18:50pm

Govt Announces Toll Rates Hike At Five Highways From Jan 1

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- Toll rates at five highways in and around the Klang Valley will be raised between 30 sen and RM1, starting Jan 1 next year, Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu announced Thursday.

The five highways involved are Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP), Lebuhraya Shah Alam, Lebuhraya Cheras-Kajang, Lebuhraya KL-Karak and Lebuhraya Koridor Guthrie. The new toll rates for LDP will be RM1.60, an increase of 60 sen, Lebuhraya Shah Alam -- RM2.20 (up 70 sen), Lebuhraya Cheras-Kajang -- RM1 (Batu 9) and 90 sen (Batu 11) (both 30 sen more), Lebuhraya KL-Karak -- RM5 (Gombak) (RM1 higher) and RM3 (Bentong) (50 sen more) and Lebuhraya Koridor Guthrie -- RM1.40 (up 40 sen). These rates are for cars classified as Class 1. The minister said if the government had allowed the five concessionaires to raise toll rates according to the concession agreement, then the burden on the consumers would have been much higher.
The LDP toll would have reached RM2.10, Lebuhraya Shah Alam (RM2.40), Lebuhraya Cheras-Kajang (RM1.20 -- Batu 9) (RM1.10 -- Batu 11) and Lebuhraya KL-Karak (RM8.80 -- Gombak) (RM3.70 -- Bentong). Starting Jan 1, the toll rates at the LDP, which was built at a cost of RM1.5 billion, will be RM3.60 for Class 2 vehicles, RM5.40 (Class 3), 90 sen (Class 4) and RM1.80 (Class 5).

Users of Lebuhraya Shah Alam, constructed at a cost of RM1.3 billion, would have to pay RM3.30 (Class 2), RM4.40 (Class 3), RM1.10 (Class 4) and RM1.70 (Class 5).

At the RM303 million Lebuhraya Cheras Kajang (Batu 9), consumers will have to fork out RM2 (Class 2 and 3), 50 sen (Class 4) and RM1 (Class 5). For the Batu 11 toll, users will be charged RM1.80 (Class 2 and 3), 50 sen (Class 4) and 90 sen (class 5).

At the Lebuhraya Koridor Guthrie, developed at a cost of RM862 million, users will pay RM2.80 (Class 2), RM4.20 (Class 3), 70 sen (Class 4) and RM1.40 (Class 5).

At the Gombak toll of the RM500 million Lebuhraya KL-Karak, motorists will pay RM10 (Class 2), RM15 (Class 3), RM2.50 (Class 4) and RM5 (Class 5). At the Bentong toll of the same highway, they will have to pay RM6 (Class 2), RM9 (Class 3), RM1.50 (Class 4) and RM3 (Class 5).

Class 1 is for cars, Class 2 for lorries below one tonne, Class 3 for big lorries and trailers, Class 4 for taxis, and Class 5 for buses.

ABOVE & BELOW: One of the "legalised EXTORTION SITE" that confronts you if you happen to pass this stretch daily

To increase toll or continue to subsidize that is the question. And the government opted to reduce the subsidy? WHY? It has no more money. All the extra for subsidy has been used (RM 11 Billion to be precise) and the details are given in a reply in the Dewan Raykat to bail out (or rescue a better term) the 7 companies (see below)

The alternative is to revise the skewed concession agreement as called by FORMCA (see below) but the companies would not budge. As argued they can forced the IPPs to do so with TNB, why not here. Is the government so impotent?

If the toll is to be allowed, then at least reduce the petrol prices as the drop in World Crude oil prices since middle of year has saved the government RM717 Million (see below). It should continue to subsidize the toll rates and reduce the rakyat’s burden.

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at the NPE - New Pantai Express way
The Road Builders built, maintain & collect Toll on this stretch, the boss (ABOVE) explained the TOLL EXTORTION clause: "Toll agreement has already been built into the concession agreetment. What the private sector asking is NOTHING new; the toll is already in the agreement. If the government does not agree to it, they HAVE to pay the compensation" BELOW: RM71 Million from toll in 2006 & MORE in 2007

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ABOVE & BELOW: The NPE- one of the most expensive tolled highway about 15km that links Subang Jaya (Bandar Sunway to Bangsar (RM1.60) and further to Sungei Besi or near Mega Mall (another RM1.60)
i.e. RM3.20 from KL to SJ

Malaysia road tolls to rise by up to 60 pct(Update 1)Updated : 13-12-2006 Media : Reuters; Story By : Jalil Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Malaysia will announce on Thursday a sharp
rise in road toll rates to help trim state subsidies,
a source said on Wednesday, in a move that could spark a public outcry and raise inflation. Tolls will go up by as much as 60 percent and will affect users of five highways in and around the capital, Kuala Lumpur, said the source, who attended an official briefing on the matter. "The new rates take effect on Jan. 1," the source, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. "That's our New Year present." A spokesman for the Works Minister confirmed that an announcement would be made at a news conference at 3.15 p.m. (0715 GMT) on Thursday. He declined to give details.

Under toll concession agreements that critics say favour operators, the government has to reimburse operators if traffic volumes and revenues fall short of pre-agreed projections. Most of the highways were approved in the 1990s by the administration of then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, which made privatisation and mega-projects one of its hallmarks. Works Minister S. Samy Vellu said recently the government would have to fork out 2 billion ringgit ($565 million) in compensation to five highway operators if toll rates were not revised. The operators include listed firms Gamuda Bhd (GAMU.KL: Quote, Profile , Research) and Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (LTKH.KL: Quote, Profile , Research).

Litrak operates the 40 km Damansara-Puchong highway, where the toll is to rise 60 percent, to 1.60 ringgit from 1 ringgit now, the source said. "The real toll is 2.10 ringgit, so the government is still subsidising 50 sen for each user," the source said. Residents along the densely populated stretch had protested strongly against an initial proposal to levy a toll of 1.50 ringgit, forcing the government to fix it at 1 ringgit. Some 418,000 vehicles used the highway daily on average, reflecting a 14.5 percent compounded annual growth rate for the past seven years, rating firm RAM said in a review of Litrak. Government officials told the briefing that one reason for the shortfall in toll collection was due to motorists switching to alternative non-toll roads, the source said.

The toll hikes, however, will not apply to Malaysia's biggest toll-road firm, Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (PLUS) (PLUE.KL: Quote, Profile , Research), a PLUS spokeswoman said. PLUS' rate increase is fixed at 10 percent every three years and the next increase is not due until January 2008. Malaysia's annual inflation was 3.1 percent in October year-on-year, down from a 7-year-high of 4.8 percent in March.____

Govt Spends RM11 Bln To Rescue Privatised Companies; December 13, 2006 18:17 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- The government has spent RM11 billion to take over seven companies saddled with management and financial problems after they were privatised. However, the number was small compared to about 490 companies which were successfully privatised since 1983, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Abdul Rahman Suliman. The companies taken over by the government were Sistem Transit Aliran Ringan Sdn Bhd (Star LRT), Projek Usahasama Transit Automatik Sdn Bhd (Putra LRT), Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Sistem Pembentungan Negara Sdn Bhd, Muslim Goods and Food Analysis Unit (MGFA), the rehabilitation of abandoned Kuching Prison, and the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway Sdn Bhd, he said when responding to a question from Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera) in the Dewan Rakyat, Wednesday. He said Star LRT and Putra LRT were taken over by Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB) at a cost of RM3.3 billion and RM4.5 billion respectively, while the construction of Kuching Prison by the Public Works Department cost RM135 million. The Seremban-Port Dickson Highway was taken over by Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (PLUS) at a cost of RM142 million and MGFA was reinstated by the Malaysia Islamic Development Department at a cost of RM8.3 million, he said. He said Sistem Pembentungan Negara was taken over by the Finance Ministry Incorporated at a cost of RM192 million and the entire equity held by the concessionaire, Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd. Abdul Rahman said the government's decision on privatisation hinged on two aspects, that they were viable and benefited the people.
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Govt Petroleum Subsidy Burden Declines Since August; December 13, 2006 19:02 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 13 (Bernama) -- The government's subsidy on petroleum products has declined since last August following the drop in world crude oil prices in the middle of this year, said Finance Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya. He said the government managed to save RM65.35 million from the total subsidy of RM996.97 million last August, and RM493.47 million from the total subsidy of RM503.5 million last September. "For October, the total subsidy was RM346.12 million and the government managed to save RM158.38 million, and in November it saved RM38.28 million from the total subsidy of RM307.84 million," he said when replying to a question from Senator Dr K.N. Raja Ram at the Dewan Negara, here Wednesday. "However, the decision to increase or decrease the prices of petrol and diesel next year hinges on the world crude oil prices in the world market in 2007. "This is because despite the decline in world crude oil prices, the government has to pay subsidies on petroleum products to keep their prices at current levels, he said. Meanwhile, Home Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Datuk Paduka Abdul Rahman Ibrahim, when replying to a supplementary question from Senator Gooi Hoe Hin, said locals were given priority in the recruitment of workers. He said most of the foreign workers were engaged in sectors categorised as dangerous, difficult and dirty or the '3Ds' which the locals were not fond of. He said the ministry had taken various measures to ensure the bulk of the employment were filled by Malaysians in stages. "For example, locals are not interested in employment in plantations and interior areas where there are no electricity and running water, so we have to use foreign labour. "But in other fields, if possible, we impose conditions on employers to give priority to locals," he said.

= = = = = = = = = =Background; The warning was already given with much details TWO weeks ago when...

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

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.

= = = = = = =UPDATE: 28 Nov 06; 21:55pm

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.


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