Takeover of toll concessions won’t affect other projects, says Azmin

The government is negotiating with Gamuda Berhad to take over the concessions of four highways.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has given an assurance that its move to take over the concessions of four highways to reduce transportation costs will not affect other projects involving the people’s interests.

Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali said the negotiations with Gamuda Berhad to take over the concessions of Damansara Puchong Expressway, the Western KL Traffic Dispersal System, Shah Alam Expressway and SMART Tunnel are in line with Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto for the last general election.

“Negotiations are being carried out in stages because the impact on the nation’s finances is great.

“We have to ensure it will not affect other economic developments because while we want to implement the manifesto, we also want economic development to continue to expand,” he told reporters after accompanying Selangor’s Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah and Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin during a visit to Tamu Hotel & Suites in Kampung Baru here today.

Azmin said the expected takeover costs are still being negotiated and the ministry concerned will issue a statement as soon as all matters were settled.

“Our commitment (on the PH manifesto) is clear but all cases need to be studied carefully because we do not want it to adversely affect other matters that need attention,” he said.

Last night, the Prime Minister’s Department issued a statement saying that the government had begun negotiations with Gamuda Berhad to take over the concessions of the four highways.

According to the statement, the government hoped to abolish the toll mechanism after taking over the highways.

The department said a congestion charge would be introduced, equal to the existing toll rates, for the peak hours of around six hours a day.