Thursday, February 26, 2009

PLUS Toll Free by 2016?

Well, if Pakatan takes over the Government.

Just as we had a press conference yesterday to provide the Government with a proposal to make PLUS toll free by 2016, in a most timely manner, our Government decides that a toll rate increase for PLUS (and 4 other highways) are most appropriate today.

But before I make my comment on the toll rate increase as announced by the Works Minister today, coming so soon after the celebratory toll booth "demolition" at Sungei Besi Highway and New Pantai Expressway, here's our concrete proposal on how we can have a toll-free PLUS by 2016 without costing the Government a single cent!

The DAP Ops RESTORE Team calls upon both the Works and Finance Ministers to make the entire North-South Highway and its related concessions such as the ELITE, Butterworth-Kulim (BKE) and the Second Link Highways under PLUS Expressways Bhd completely toll free by 2016.

Following our team's consultations to date with our legal experts, investment bankers as well as the general public, we have developed a comprehensive, practicable and creative programme to return the highways to the people in the least possible cost, and shortest possible time without compromising the integrity of the financial markets.

Our proposal will:
  • Impose no further increase in North-South Highway toll rates

    For example, a return KL-Penang journey will remain at RM86.60 today instead of RM115.30 in 2015 and RM168.80 by 2030.

  • Create RM14 billion savings for Malaysians from 2009-2015

    This will be the amount saved either (i) by Malaysians using the highway because of no further toll rate increases or (ii) in terms of compensation which would have to be paid by the Government to PLUS Expressways.

  • Continue to collect toll only until 2015

  • Incur no additional cost for the Malaysian Government or Malaysian tax-payers
Background information:
  • PLUS is listed on Bursa Malaysia at a price of RM2.88 per share and a market capitalisation of RM14.4 billion (24th February)

  • The Government of Malaysia, via Khazanah owns 65% of PLUS.

  • PLUS has outstanding net debt amounting to RM8.5 billion
We call upon the Government to take the following actions:
  1. The Government should make a General Offer (GO) to acquire all minority shareholders of PLUS with a generous 15% premium at RM3.30 per share, costing RM5.25 billion thus ensuring that minority shareholders are protected.

  2. The cost of acquisition, added to the RM8.5 billion net debt of PLUS will amount to RM13.75 billion.

  3. This cost will be funded by issuing Malaysian Government Securities (MGS) at 3% interest (or less), costing RM413 million per annum. Total repayment will amount to RM16.2 billion over 6 years.

  4. At the same time, PLUS should generate at least RM20b in net positive cashflow the 6 years to 2015 without further toll rate hikes and a conservative 3% pa traffic growth.

  5. Therefore by 2015, the government can completely repay the MGS and still have RM3.8 billion excess which could be used to build a better public transportation system throughout the country.
Not only will the execution of the above proposal bring joy to all Malaysians with a toll-free North South Expressway, the exercise will fit perfectly with the upcoming “mini-Budget” by the Finance Minister:
  • RM14 billion saved by Malaysian consumers will reduce the cost of living for the average Malaysian in times of economic difficulties we face today.

  • RM14 billion saved will also redirect expenditure to other more productive sectors of our economy by increasing domestic consumer demand.

  • The reduced toll rates and its subsequent abolition will substantially reduce the cost of doing business in Malaysia, increase logistical efficiencies and ultimately make Malaysian companies more globally competitive.

  • Best of all, the plan will stimulate demand and make available substantial funds for public infrastructure development without the Government having to increase the precarious budget deficit further.
Hence, the DAP Ops RESTORE Team would like to reiterate our call to both the Finance and Works Minister to include the above proposal in the proposed mini-budget set to be announced by the Finance Minister on the 10th March for the benefit of the Government and all Malaysians.


Anonymous said...

Good job YB Tony and team =)

You are teaching us the skills of using parachutes, ie. you guide us to understand how an open mind opens doors =)

Anonymous said...

if LDP tools were removed, the traffic at LDP would be smoother. It's really sad that LDP is paid but people still suffer terribly. Appreciate if PR could do something on LDP.

Anonymous said...

Umno sure knows how to make your job easier. They've raised toll prised amid economic crisis where everyone is feeling the pinch.

You recently had a forum about tolls. And good ol' govt have raised the toll rates for 5 major highways that is frequently used.

And we still don't know what the 2nd stimulus package will be like.

Like WOW. Umno is so suicidal. They're taking steps to purposely irk the people and drive them to the arms of the pakatan.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tony,

I don't really have the technical knowledge to have an interesting opinion on this proposal, but I'm very glad that at least *someone* is getting some work done instead of non-stop moralizing and politics and imbibing (and producing) by-election koolaid.

Keep up the good work, Ops RESTORE!

Anonymous said...

As an ex-banker involved in privatisation, your proposal is generally feasible (which should put pressure on the Govt).

Please take note/include the regular maintenance costs and periodic heavy-duty upgrading costs - currently, there are "fats" there.

Anonymous said...

The sun will rise from the west if DPM will put this in to his MINI BUDGET.

Each time I read the government have to compensate the concessionaires, I feel like crying. Millions and billions of tax payers' money just flow smoothly into the cronies pocket. We cry they laugh...

水兴浪 Gavin Tee said...

Everything begins with a dream, i hope your dream comes true, oh, not your, shall be our dream, anyway, we can't wait till 2016, we want it now or later by next election. gavin

Steven Teng said...

I strongly support this fantastic proposal especially during this economy downturn where the poor will suffer the most. Toll increase doesn't make sense at all since there are more new vehicles on the road. Is a simple mathematics. Therefore toll free is the solution for Malaysia in the future.

Anonymous said...

We need to put all these suggestion into action to get the government to act. I wish we can do something like the thai people did at the airport. Of course it will affect people, but it bring changes.

Anonymous said...

Please support "DAP Bailout Plan" to rescue BN-linked tolls company from this financial crisis.

These toll company have made 1st round profit when the getting these toll contract's under "BOT" (Build, Operate and Transfer)from BN government

Then, they made they 2nd round of profit when they collecting tolls and compensation from BN government.

Now, they're old and would prefer to "Cash Out" in view of the uncertainty of global economy.

What a good idea!

Just use Rakyat money to buy back the highway and we'll break even in10 years.

Oh Yes!

Change has come into DAP

Anonymous said...

Yes. Toll Free by 2016 :-)

Tony, well done for your concrete proposal. At least you guys are looking into the possibility.

Barisan Nasional is only looking into raising fund from the Rakyat via toll rate increase. The banks slash interest rate on one hand, but raise toll rate on the other ?

Also my opinion on the second stimulus package. I don't place too much hope on the 2nd package. Do we still remember the 1st package of RM 7 billion ? I wonder which sectors are feeling the RM7bil ? Or monkey see monkey do ?

If the 1st stimulus package was so successful, then why do we need a 2nd BIGGER and more COMPREHENSIVE package.

Tony, I hope DAP or PR will have someone looking into it. May be a bipartisan team working with BN for time being.

Anonymous said...

Well done..keep it up,YB!
It's not A Dream..It's A Reality we together must make it happen..!By year 2016..may be a bit too Long...!Can The "Unsabar Rakyat" wait..?(Because Always the time something will happen / make to happen..caused by the "DESPERATE HOUSEMen" who along the way...Change..Amend..Renew..Extend..anything when STRONG & IN POWER AGAIN because they.."CARE"..their Extraordinary-Pockets..)

That's might be the main factor the Cronies in 'Piratisation Policy' daring to demand the Gomen to INCREASE NOW (By MARCH 1ST,2009) OTHERWISE PAY as per their 'GENTLEMEN GOMEN AGREEMENT'.(Wahlau EASY MONEY..)...even if IN TIMES OF ALL THE RAKYAT BIASA MALAYSIA UNDER TREMENDOUS PRESSURE in daily lives as of today..BECAUSE & Of Course the Cronies know clearly THEY DO NOT HAVE MUCH MORE TIMES LIKE THE PASS 22 YEARS BEFORE UNDER BN GOMEN'ADMINISTRATION..Because CAN NO LONGER SUCK-UP-TO RAKYAT ANYMORE..via the TRULY RAKYAT CONCESSION..BY The PAKATAN RAKYAT who is going to take over the "Power & Administration WHO truly Serving for The Rakyat..& Defend For The Rakyat..Signed In The "Rakyat' Interest" so as to build "A TRULY RAKYAT OWNED MALAYSIA".." for our Children our Generation to Generation for our Great Nation & Great People & Great Bangsa Malaysia in the world!
The TIME IS VERY SOON.not Later."The REALITY IS TODAY THE RAKYAT KNOW TRULY" IN HEARTS AND MINDS by proving in the 13th General Election..soon!Insyallah..!

Anonymous said...

I dont blame the present government! I blame the donkeys who elected them there

Wat I cannot see how come the motorcyclists are always escaping paying the tolls. If you take the NPE, out of the three lanes, one lane is "dedicated" to them.
MAKE THEM PAY! Construct special booths for them

Anonymous said...

Hi YB Tony,

Recent YB making a lot media appearance, yours suggestion and comments is logical but I don’t think the narrow thinking BN will listen and accept your opinion, they are busy looking at revenge plan to bring all PKR leader to jail. I agree only when new party like PKR take over federal government all the impossible become possible.

I also heard comments from YB Anwar regarding increasing toll rate will benefits some of the BN colonies who currently holding high position, getting high salary (million per year) but DO NOT THING management. This so call top management working for GLC (which should be helping public and Malaysian) every day thinking how to increase their tariff to gain profit, but not improving their operation efficiency, optimize process and improve their services.

Malaysian who know all the non-sense reason and no transparency by BN federal government please gather ours power as the voter to remove BN in next election. OURS VOTE WILL DECIDE OURS CHILDREN FUTURE.

Strong DAP Supporter.

Anonymous said...

I must say this is a good idea politically and govt policy wise. One in your corner for sure.

Eliminating toll for long distance highway is probably economically a plus. AND PLUS has these urban tolls that pretty much should be changed to a tax to fund public transport and other projects.

Big winner of an idea....

Andrew said...


Your proposal still lacks details. Ie. how do you figure that PLUS has a +cash flow of 20B in 6 years for the Gov to repay MGS? What are the assumptions for your projections?

Also, your proposal calls for no toll after 2015. You also have no detail on who pays for maintenance of the highways after 2015 if toll is not collected; even if PLUS turns into a non-profit, some amount of money has to go towards maintenance & staff pay, etc.

Would like your clarification on these points.


Anonymous said...

They say you reap what u sow. That's whats happening to BN now. They no its unpopular but they are obliged to raise the toll, as the deal is written by them to line their pockets.

The deal to bleed the rakyat has finally backfired.

Ian CHEONG said...

Let's see wut the TAX PAYING RAKYAT thinks of my proposal: RAISE all the TOLL RATES for all we care. However, INTRODUCE new policy and pass it in parliament as part of the forthcoming MINI ECONOMIC STIMULUS as follows:
Allow ALL toll payments paid by civilians as a REBATE (not deduction from taxable amount) from the TOTAL INCOME TAX!
E.g. If u paid RM 1,000 in tolls a year and your total taxable is RM 5000, then your actual tax payment will be RM 4,000!

Anyone support my motion?

I would think this would result in a win-win solution.

HOW is this?

1. For us taxpayers (hey, there's only 1.2 million of us right?) we will then heck care about the toll rates!
The more they squeeze us, the less taxes the govt will get!

2. For the Govt, the revenue will still keep 65% of their cronies happy. And the rebate is only done the FOLLOWING year! All the collection is made UP FRONT, like Air Asia model. And hey, if there's only 1.2 million tax payers forking out RM 1k in tolls a year, that's only 1.2 BILLION!
If extended to the "2016", the total is less than 10 Billion lesser tax! What is that? Peanuts and much less than the proposed 16 billion over 6 years! (See US & China economic stimulus for ONE year???)
Furthermore the NON-tax payers can keep on paying the high tolls! Thus, it's really WIN-WIN!

Of course one would think that keeping all the receipts would be a real hassle! TRUE.
Solution: All payments for this rebate will be made by MyKAD only! Hey, for those of u who DON'T KNOW, your MyKAD is also a TOUCH n GO card!
Once the deduction is made, the transaction is AUTOMATICALLY updated to the IRB database and will have a running cumulative amount, from which the MyKAD user can check and verify their transactions ONLINE (Mr MyEG, are you reading this?)

Another benefit, all the MyKAD users will PRELOAD their cards with $$$ thus, further spurring the economy!
Imagine all the tax payers preloading RM 1k from the ATM kiosks? That's an instant RM 1.2 billion boost to the banking economy! NO paper transaction. Paperless! Clean!