Thursday, February 22, 2007

300,000 Protested Sungai Nyior TOLL; EFFECTIVE: SAMY’s U-Turn TOLL Collection-Defer Indefinitely; BORR’s COST - RM410 Mln to RM700 Mln; WHY Samy?

All the way from LONDON (see Bernama’s report below dated 16th Feb 07) Samy admitted defeat and announced that Sungai Nyior Toll Collection be Deferred without even the Cabinet nod. And will the Taxpayer be AGAIN made to Pay for this deferment? When the toll agreement needs to be declassify, all the red tapes were pulled out and that he needed to present a paper for a decision to be made. Now he can made an announcement and defer tolls. Isn’t all these “wools being pulled over our eyes” to suit their conveniences.

When they protest to the Penang government over the Sungai Nyiur toll at BORR (Butterworth Outer Ring Road, starting on 20th Feb 07); the State government quickly build 4 Toll-free roads linking Seberang Jaya and Butterworth, with a 300m stretch (costing RM2 Million to be build on a fast-track basis (NST Feb 15) so that “to ensure motorists who do not want to pay toll have an alternate route to use" And Samy can announced the toll there is deferred indefinitely.

The reasons they protested:
The road leading to the toll plaza was not new and that it was an existing trunk road and it was ridiculous for motorists to be charged toll now”.
Using the same reasons, when DAP protested against the tolls charged along Jalan Pahang & Jalan Kuching, then they did not want to know! And the same now in Bandar Mahkota Cheras -Toll 11 km. Why this double standards and marginalisation
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Wednesday February 21, 2007; STAR

DAP Lim Guan Eng questions jump in cost for BORR Why Samy?

BUTTERWORTH: How did the construction cost of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) jump from RM410mil to RM700mil? This was the question posed by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to the Government, adding that Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu had previously quoted RM410mil in Parliament when responding to a question by Bagan MP Lim Hock Seng. “Now, we read in the newspapers that the amount is RM700mil.

Why has the cost suddenly gone up?” he asked at a press conference at the BORR Sungai Nyior toll plaza here yesterday. Lim also asked for the concession agreement between the Government and BORR concession holder, Lingakaran Luar Butterworth Sdn Bhd, to be made public. “The public has the right to know the terms and conditions in the agreement,” he said. The collection at the Sungai Nyior toll has been deferred till further notice following public objection.

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February 21, 2007 20:21 PM

Smooth Operations At Bagan Ajam And Perai Toll Plazas

BUTTERWORTH, Feb 21 (Bernama) -- Operations at the Bagan Ajam and Perai toll plazas of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) went smoothly despite the public uproar over toll collection at the Sungai Nyiur plaza near here. Toll collections at Bagan Ajam and Perai started from 6.00 am Wednesday, while operation at the controversial Sungai Nyiur toll plaza had been postponed indefinitely due to protests by local residents. While the charges for using the Bagan Ajam and Perai routes should have been imposed a day earlier, the highway concessionaire Lingkaran Luar Butterworth Sdn Bhd decided to enforce them today as Tuesday was a public holiday. Checks by Bernama at the Bagan Ajam and Perai plazas found that motorists were aware that the use of the routes was no longer free as the highway concessionaire had erected enough signs along the road to remind them of the toll charges. The motorists were in fact ready to pay toll yesterday but they were informed by the company's workers there that the charges would only take effect Wednesday.

The toll rates for cars are RM1.20 and RM1.30 at Bagan Ajam and Jalan Prai respectively, while for double axle lorries, the charges are RM2.40 at Bagan Ajam and RM2.60 at Jalan Prai. A bus driver Salahuddin Hashim when met said the outer ring road has reduced travelling time and traffic congestion particularly during peak hours in the morning and evening. With the road, the journey from Bukit Mertajam to Butterworth took only 30 minutes against almost one hour when using Jalan Chain Ferry, he added.

Another motorist Mohd Noor Hussein said he escaped a lot of traffic lights' frustrations when using the outer ring road. "This is an alternative route for motorists to take advantage from. I do not mind paying the toll as long as the journey is smooth without interruptions by traffic lights," he added.

February 20, 2007 17:29 PM

Toll Collection At Bagan Ajam, Perai Plazas Starts At 6AM Wednesday

BUTTERWORTH, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- Toll collection at Bagan Ajam and Perai toll plazas located in the road alignment of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) starts at 6am Wednesday. Although the Malaysian Highway Authority director-general Datuk Mohd Noor Yaacob had said toll collection at the BORR route would begin Tuesday, users of the route would start paying toll only from Wednesday. Banners have been strung up at the two toll plazas to inform motorists on the start of toll collection from Wednesday morning. A signboard had also been put up stating the toll rates according to vehicle categories. Lingkaran Luar Butterworth Sdn Bhd general manager Suhaimi Mohamad Yusof told Bernama toll collection would only start Wednesday as Tuesday was still a public holiday for Chinese New Year. A Bernama check showed the situation at the two plazas was quiet, with several employees putting the final touches and testing the tol systems at the toll booths before collection starts Wednesday. The rates for cars at Bagan Ajam is RM1.20 and RM1.30 at Jalan Prai and for double-axle lorries are RM2.40 and RM2.60 respectively. For three-axle lorries, taxis and buses, the rates are RM3.60, 60 sen and RM1.20 at Bagan Ajam and RM3.90, 70 sen and RM1.30 at Jalan Prai, respectively. Besides the two plazas, there is another toll plaza at Sungai Nyiur along the 19km BORR.

However, toll collection at Sungai Nyiur has been deferred following appeals by the state government, residents in Seberang Jaya and surrounding areas and several non-governmental organisations not to impose toll until an alternative road was built to lighten the people's burden. Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said recently toll collection at Sungai Nyiur Plaza had been postponed indefinitely but operations of the other two plazas would proceed as scheduled.

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February 16, 2007 20:15 PM

Sungai Nyior Toll Collection Deferred

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 (Bernama) --- The government has decided to defer the toll collection at the Sungai Nyior toll plaza of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR), Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said. He said the toll collection scheduled for Feb 20 had to be put on hold until further notice.

"However, the toll collection at the two other toll plazas of the BORR would proceed as scheduled," he told Bernama from London after an official visit to Ghana.

Samy Vellu said the toll collection was being deferred pending a study and also at the request of road users there. "In the meantime, there will be no toll collection at the Sungai Nyior toll plaza. We will decide on it after looking at the study," he added. Road users have protested over the toll collection, claiming the route is not new a road constructed under the 19km BORR project. They have been using the route for free for almost 10 years. They said by charging toll at the Sungai Nyior plaza, vehicles heading to Kulim from Butterworth would have to pay two toll charges, the other being at Kubang Semang, a short distance from Sungai Nyior. On Thursday, Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM) director-general Datuk Mohamd Noor Yaacob clarified in Butterworth that the Sungai Nyior route was part of the package under the BORR project. He said no toll charges were imposed previously because the BORR project had not been completed. Meanwhile in Penang, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rashid Abdullah said the state government was thankful for the decision to defer the toll collection, describing it as a smart response. "We had requested the federal government to postpone the toll collection and the Works Minister had given a positive response in line with the aspiration of the state government and local residents," he said.

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15 Feb 2007; 6.23 pm; NST Updates; Audrey Dermawan

GEORGE TOWN, THU.: Four toll-free roads linking will be built as alternatives for motorists who choose to bypass the Sungai Nyiur toll plaza at the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR). The four routes include:

* a new road linking Jalan Todak and Jalan Chain Ferry through Taman Kimsar;

* upgrading existing roads in Sungai Nyiur, Jalan Siram and Jalan Permatang Pauh;

* construction of a bridge across Sungai Prai from Jalan Jelawat to Taman Bagan; and

* a filter road parallel to the east-west Highway.

State Traffic Management Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said that work on two of the four roads began yesterday, while construction of the other two roads is expected to start within the next few months. He said the road linking Jalan Todak to Jalan Chain Ferry through Taman Kimsar will take at least three months to complete. Dr Teng said work to build the 300 metre-long road, which is expected to cost about RM2 million, will be done on a fast-track basis to ensure it is quickly completed. "We are doing all this to ensure motorists who do not want to pay toll have an alternate route to use," he said yesterday. The State government's decision comes in the wake of an uproar created by some 300,000 residents in Seberang Jaya and Butterworth who have voiced their displeasure at having to pay toll at the BORR. They claimed the road leading to the toll plaza was not new and that it was an existing trunk road. They claimed it was ridiculous for motorists to be charged toll now. Yesterday, several Barisan Nasional component party leaders, led by Penanti assemblyman Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid, held discussions with Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon over the matter. Dr Teng said the State government will continue to appeal to the Federal overnment and the BORR concessionaire company to postpone the implementation of the Sungai Nyiur toll. "However, we have no authority in making any decision on the matter. "The decision to impose toll was decided by the Federal Government and the concessionaire company more than 10 years ago," he said.

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February 13, 2007 21:54 PM

Appeal To Defer Toll Collection Until Alternative Road Ready

BUKIT MERTAJAM, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- The people of Seberang Jaya and nearby areas, Tuesday appealed for the proposed collection of toll at the Sungai Nyiur plaza in Butterworth to be deferred until after an alternative toll-free road is built for their use. Permatang Pauh Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman Datuk Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid said users of the road have to pay 90 sen for a one-way trip through the toll plaza for a road distance of only 500 metres and that many of them had to travel up and down that road several times in a day to send their children to school in Bagan and Butterworth. He told reporters that 7,000 residents in Seberang Jaya and nearby areas have signed a memorandum asking for the speedy construction of an alternative road to resolve the issue. The memorandum will be handed over to Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon to be given to Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu. "We understand that the highway concessionaire has to collect money for the road it has built but collect from those who use the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) and not the Seberang Jaya-Sungai Nyiur stretch," he said. Abdul Jalil said the people, many of whom were from the low and medium income levels, did not object to the project but asked the government to consider their appeal.

Monday, Malaysia Highway Authority Director General Datuk Mohd Noor Yaacob announced the toll rates for the BORR, at Jalan Prai, Bagan Ajam and Sungai Nyiur, which will be imposed from Feb 20. The rate of toll at Jalan Prai is RM1.30 for Class 1 vehicles (of two axles and three or four wheels, except taxis and buses), RM2.60 for Class 2 vehicles (of two axles and six wheels, except buses), RM3.90 for Class 3 vehicles (of three axles or more, except buses), 70 sen for Class 4 vehicles (all types of taxis and limousines) and RM1.30 for Class 5 vehicles (all types of buses).

The rate of toll at Bagan Ajam is RM1.20 (Class 1), RM2.40 (Class 2), RM3.60 (Class 3), 60 sen (Class 4) and RM1.20 (Class 5) while at Sungai Nyior it is 90 sen (Class 1), RM1.80 (Class 2), RM2.70 (Class 3), 50 sen (Class 4) and 90 sen (Class 5). Meanwhile, Khor Hock Peng, 32, a representative of non-governmental organisations in Seberang Jaya, said he regarded the 90 sen toll for a road of several metres as "the most expensive rate in Malaysia".

He said about 300,000 people in and around Butterworth, Prai, Seberang Jaya, Permatang Pauh and Bandar Perda would be directly affected by the toll.

The issue over the proposed collection of toll at Sungai Nyiur cropped up because the Seberang Jaya-Butterworth stretch is not new but an existing part of the toll-free Butterworth-Kulim Expressway.


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