Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor said the toll charges on the Kesas Highway were to have been raised to RM3 (for Class One vehicles) but Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak decided against it because it would place a financial burden on the people.
The toll rate hike next year is unavoidable as it is an express condition in the concession agreement between the government and highway concession companies, according to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Wahid Omar.
He said the toll rate should have been revised in 2011, as stated in the concession agreement. "However, the rate was maintained, but the government had to fork out RM400 million in compensation from taxpayers' money, which could have been used for other purposes.
"And now it's time to fulfill the condition,"
He said the hike was therefore a fair measure for taxpayers, coupled with the fact that highways were alternative routes which they don't use everyday.
1. See the reality before and after general election
2. The money used to compensation the concessionaires for freeze in toll rates actually come from taxpayers, not Najib's own pocket nor Barisan Nasional.
3. It may be unfair to use public fund to subsidize the scheduled toll hikes as taxpayers who do not/ seldom use the expressway will be subsidizing those expressway users.
4. "And now it's time to fulfill the condition,". Ya. And now it's time to face the reality, paying the price for accepting election sweetener, which is a thick bitter pill thinly coated with sugar. People start to taste the bitterness after finishing consuming the thin layer of sugar.
5. "highways were alternative routes which they don't use everyday"?? More than 1 million of tollable traffic in Klang Valley daily. Do the regular and daily users of the expressways really have alternatives? One who lives in Klang and travel to work in KL city center has to pay toll expenses of RM16 per day. Do they really have a choice considering much longer time, more fuel has to be burnt, having to bear with more stress and frustration if they were to travel on toll-free roads. Do the people have choice when the public transports are so much lacking?