Don’t abolish tolls just yet, Daim advises Putrajaya

CEP chairman Daim Zainuddin says this is not the time to abolish tolls.

KUALA LUMPUR: Council of Eminent Persons (CEP) chairman Daim Zainuddin has advised the government not to abolish tolls just yet.

The former finance minister says it is not advisable to do so at this stage.

“Even though the government is looking at abolishing the toll, it is not advisable at this stage.

“And the rakyat will also understand this,” he said after a press conference on the completion of CEP’s mandate and its recommendations to the government.

He also said there had been several proposals on abolishing the toll but some of the proposals were incomplete.

“We have submitted our proposal,” he added.

Recently, Works Minister Baru Bian said Putrajaya had suspended plans to abolish highway tolls due to the high cost of compensating concessionaires.

Baru said that the government would have to fork out some RM400 billion, adding that this could only be done when the country’s finances were stabilised.

Former Employees Provident Fund (EPF) CEO Shahril Ridza Ridzuan was reported as saying that the proposal to abolish toll collection could not be finalised within 100 days as outlined in Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) manifesto as toll restructuring was very complicated as the interests of all parties must be considered.

The EPF has a 49% stake in toll highway operator PLUS Malaysia Bhd, while Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s unit UEM Group Bhd owns the remaining equity.

Shahril, who is now Khazanah’s managing director, also said that investors needed to have confidence in the market and the government, being aware of this, did not want to do anything that could hurt it.