Friday, January 23, 2009

Take Back Highways?

Article today in The Sun

DAP's Ops RESTORE ("Restructure Toll Rates & Equity") Team handed over our preliminary findings on the toll concessions to the Ministry of Works yesterday morning - will blog the contents later.

But I thought it was rather interesting that I received another anonymous email, in it which suggested that the RM75 million compensation for LITRAK was only for 2007 and 2008 (which I'll further verify with the works minister) and another interesting comment as follows:
If the toll rates are imposed as per the CA (Concession Agreement), there will be ZERO compensation and I do not understand why the Government would even think of spending RM1.4 Billion for expropriation, as per you statement.
Ummm... if the government doesn't pay the compensation, the rakyat will have to pay to make up the extra 50 sen no?


KoSong Cafe said...

One simple way to look at the rationale of taking back the tolled highways, is to correct the lop-sided agreements signed by government representatives who willingly gave away more than necessary, for reasons best known to themselves.

I am sure there are many ways to carry it out, based on the government's financial ability to do so. What puzzles laymen like me is government's ability to pay huge compensations in lieu of increases in toll rates, yet unable to take over the concessionaires.

Even based on the assumption that the government can ill afford to do so, we can still work out a way whereby a willing and able company (GLC?) can take over the concessions with a new fairer agreement.

The present BN government ought to be ashamed of having put the rakyat into this long term highway robbery. But as usual, no one needs to answer for it.

Anonymous said...

Yes,YB Tony! Take Back immediately....Since we can GIVE, then we must have the right to TAKE....!
Obviously,this govt is merely thinking of how to make-use/to make -rich the "Privatised Bumi-Contractors" as well as " Privatised Bumi-Companies " to finish/complete their entrusted Projects to them .so as to make the govt" Boleh "..By sacrificing the RAKYAT'S INTERESTS..for the next 50 & for the CRONIES' INTERESTS under the what so-called Musang-Polisi "Privatisation/Corporatisation Policies" let THE CRONISME self-governed like a "Privatised Gover'ment" until making The most Powerful "Public-Gover'ment" so POWERLESS..SO UNSHAMELESS...LIKE SAMILULU...!
Trust us, Now & Future..The Rakyat Malaysia..will not& can not be so dumb again, for the next 50 years@more... ;They will fail time to come....!
YB,your struggles & faiths will always be our struggles & faiths too..Are very proud of you..Are always with us..,May God bless you and family..!You are the Best...!

Anonymous said...


sorry to hear about the court case against you all.
if you ever get disqualified because of their charade, dont feel down.
we will work mightily hard for DAP in the by-election to give OKT a real "bloody nose". He is just another charade after watching him trying to cover the scandalous PKFA for his previous masters in MCA.

Anonymous said...

would love to know who owns what and the name of the directors.

Perhaps it would much more easier to convey the message in a graphical way, well, all messages by opposition should be distributed in graphic form, easier for layman to understand.


Anonymous said...

Your analyst and argument for taking back the concession IS sound except for one caveat. Its contingent on interest rate remaining low (or rather the govt borrowing cost) for the remaining period of concession.

If the takeover can be done with locked in interest rate for the long term remaining low, then it makes sense. Unfortunately you are looking at possibly sometime in the future of higher interest rate and its hard to predict how high. A number of things can cause interest rate to rise including our own govt higher deficit to keep growth growing.

But given a reasonable estimate of interest rate even a slightly higher one, your proposal still make sense because NAV is low currently and hence worth doing.

However to pull off something like this take leadership which the BN govt from top to bottom is probably at worst condition since Tunku got kicked out of UMNO and Tan Siew Sin got sidelined.

So fat chance...

Anonymous said...

YB, please do something about the crazy LDP toll.

Every workday morning many poor rakyat like me, have to pay $1.60 everyday per trip to cross the nightmare toll, get stuck in traffic and also bear the stress of competing with rude drivers who would do anything to cut queues.

Can the government compensate drivers for both the $$ and stress incurr?

Anonymous said...

I thank you very very much for fighting to take back the highway. I noticed you are the only one fighting hard. Keep it up. We need you. I support you. The robbers rob banks once a while. UMNO BN robs the rakyat every second every minute.
Enough is enough, no more toll highways. The cost to built the highway is not much compared to the money scrounged by UMNO-BN. e.g. the cost to built the North-South highway from Bukit Kayu Hitam to JB at that time was only 2.7 billion ringgit. The amount Petronas money being scrounged in bailing out Bank Bumiputra alone was more than enough to built the highway at that time. Commission Sukhoi & Scorpene reported as 1 billion ringgit so ask from TPM that 1 billion ringgit be part of the money to take back the highway.

Anonymous said...

I did not dig deep into your calculation of cost and compensation. I have no reason to doubt that you with the proven track record of a CEO could do the maths worse than most of us.

Anyway, I wish to highlight two IMPORTANT point, which is almost missing in this discussion. The amount of corporate tax Litrak paid every year to the government, versus the projected profit if LITRAK is expropriated. Second, more importantly, the issue at large is not only a linear logic of "buy back LDP - reduce toll rate - rakyak happy - politician get votes". A cruel fact, and perhaps not a very political salient one, is that the growth of passenger car travel in LDP and in fact in the whole Klang valley is simply not sustainable, it is heading towards disaster. If we buy back LDP, and keep the toll low, we're almost certainly get more cars on the road. Yes, in the short run maybe thousands of family can save a few hundred ringgit a month. But on a longer time horizon, slowly and surely, everyone must endure worse traffic congestion, worse air quality, longer travelling time, and lower quality of life.

The most powerful tool for government to have stake in Toll company directly, is to integrate urban transport planning. Then, you might even want to raise toll charges, channel the profit to increase dramatically the quality and quantity of buses in the system, so to close the vicious loop for our public transport system.

For those "business-minded" reader who fear a "communist" like future, your worries were unfounded and ignorant. Private companies can and should still get involved, but as opearator of the highway, not as owner. The government, if own the highway, can tender the operation and maintenance of the highway to private companies, say on a 3year or 5 year contract. This is almost what every government did in Europe.

I think Tony know better than I did how they manage the toll in London and Stockholm. The paradign should change, toll expressway is a link in managing urban transport, not as a cash cow for a private consortium or the GOVERNMENT.

bayi said...

Very simply, YES! Take back the highways!

It is a burden and an irritation to the rakyat. It causes traffic jams everyday.

bl tay said...

I wonder what would have happened, if the opposition parties have not rejected the toll increase every year from the beginning? How much will the travellers have to pay now?! Probably too high for everyone and sure to bring down the present government in the last election.....