Pakatan to take over highways one by one, says Azmin

Christopher Rabin

Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali says talks to acquire Gamuda's stake in four highway concessions have only just started and there are no financial details to disclose at this point. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 25, 2019.

PAKATAN Harapan will take over toll concessionaires one by one, said Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali in reply to acting Umno president Mohamad Hasan.

Mohamad earlier criticised PH’s bid to acquire Gamuda Bhd’s highway concessions in the Klang Valley, not PLUS, which operates the North-South Highway.

“When we take over four, they say we do not have the capabilities, then they ask us for one more. Which is which?” Azmin said yesterday after campaigning in Beranang for the Semenyih by-election.

Negotiations are ongoing to take over four highways – Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas) and the SMART Tunnel.

Azmin also addressed Mohamad’s request that the government disclose the details as the acquisition is a matter of financial liability.

“Negotiations are on the table and have just begun, so how could we disclose the details of the discussion when it has not concluded?”

The PKR deputy president said the government is allocating a certain percentage for every ringgit the to be spent on the takeover for both debt and development.

“For every ringgit we earn, the government, we have to allocate a certain percentage to pay our debts and development.”

On Saturday, Putrajaya said it is in talks to acquire toll concessionaires to fulfil PH’s manifesto promise with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying the takeover will be done in stages.

Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin also rebutted former prime minister Najib Razak’s criticism of the toll takeover on the campaign trail.

“We won the elections eight months ago and we are given a term of five years.

“What did Najib do in the years that he was prime minister? What did he do?” Muhyiddin said at a ceramah in Bandar Tasek Kesuma last night.  

Muhyiddin, who once served as Najib’s deputy, said the then Barisan Nasional administration discussed the issue of abolishing tolls but never implemented it. – February 25, 2019.

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