KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23: The Cabinet is still discussing its concession agreements with PLUS Malaysia Bhd (PLUS), the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
PLUS, the country’s largest expressway service provider, had said in January it was willing to review the concession agreements should the government want to take over its toll highways.
At the same time, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said there would be no hike in toll rates on PLUS highways as the concessions would be extended for 20 years from 2038 to 2058.
Deputy Works Minister Eddin Syazlee Shith told the house that no decision had been made yet, adding that Putrajaya would look at the agreements in detail as it involves “sensitive issues including toll rates”.
Eddin said although both parties needed to review revenue from tolls, it should not burden the government and the people.
He was replying to Mahdzir Khalid (BN-Padang Terap) who asked for updates on discussions with PLUS.
In January, the PMO had said there would be no increase in toll rate on PLUS highways as the concessions would be extended for 20 years from 2038 to 2058.
It also said the government would implement an 18% reduction in toll charges on private vehicles plying PLUS-owned highways as early as Feb 1 this year.
The PMO also confirmed that Khazanah Nasional Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund would remain as shareholders of PLUS.
It said the 20-year concession extension for PLUS “is to ensure that PLUS is able to maintain and operate its highways without depending on the government”.
“Implementation of the toll rate cut is subject to approval by PLUS shareholders. No payment will be made by the government to PLUS as a result of the toll rate reduction,” it had said.
Seremban Middle Ring Road Phase 3B stalled
Eddin also said construction of the Seremban Middle Ring Road would be stalled again as the cost to build the highway was too high.
He said the ring road was to reduce traffic but the government had cancelled the project under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
However, it would review the project under the 12th Malaysia Plan, he told Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah), who asked about the latest plans for the highway and whether it would resume after Phase 3B (Part 1) was completed a few years ago.
Eddin said Phase 3B was expected to cost RM1.5 billion “and if this is compared to other projects, the government feels there are other priorities at the moment”.