I knew about plan on highway tolls long before Semenyih, says Anwar

Anwar Ibrahim speaks during a campaign event in Kampung Baru Semenyih.

SEMENYIH: Anwar Ibrahim has denied that the government’s announcement today to ease toll collection on four highways was timed for the Semenyih by-election campaign.

The PKR president said plans to abolish tolls had been in the pipeline for a while.

“Finance Minister (Lim Guan Eng) had informed me about the plan and to prepare the details,” he told reporters during a campaign tour in Kampung Baru Semenyih, Semenyih.

Putrajaya today said it was talking with Gamuda Berhad to negotiate the acquisition of highway concessions in which the company has a majority stake.

The step is in line with Pakatan Harapan’s 14th general election promise that it would abolish collection of toll at highways in stages and in accordance with terms of the concession agreement should it come to power.

The highways are Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP), Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (SPRINT), Lebuhraya Shah Alam (Kesas) and the SMART Tunnel.

Anwar with PH’s Semenyih candidate Muhammad Aiman Zainali at a Chap Goh Mei event today.

The announcement drew an immediate response from former prime minister Najib Razak, who questioned its timing just a week before the by-election.

Meanwhile, Anwar said Najib’s “Bossku” phenomenon was bound to fail because the people were aware of the 1MDB scandal.

“I don’t care if people want to support Najib. But I just came back from abroad. They are surprised that the previous leaders could do this,” he said while touring Bandar Rinching here.

He said Malaysians have high hopes from PH, and Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is doing all it takes to fulfil the promises.

He said the decision to establish a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into allegations of judicial misconduct shows PH’s commitment to reforms.

“It would not be possible if (the country) was still under BN,” he said.