Taxis, buses and lorries won’t benefit from reduced toll rates, says Najib

Former prime minister Najib Razak says transportation cost would drop in 18 years if PLUS’ concession ends in 2038, as earlier scheduled.

PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak said taxis, buses and lorries stand to lose from the government’s latest move to reduce toll rates, adding that Putrajaya has failed to fulfil its promise to reduce transportation costs.

The former prime minister said that based on the statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office earlier today, the 18% discount is only meant for private vehicles.

“This mean taxis, buses, lorries and transport companies will not benefit from this.

In fact, transportation companies will have to bear the toll rates, he said in a Facebook post.

Earlier today, the government announced that all private vehicles using highways operated by PLUS Malaysia will be paying reduced toll charges as early as next month.

The highways include the North-South Expressway, NKVE, ELITE, Linkedua, LPT2, Seremban-Port Dickson Highway (SPDH), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE) and the Penang Bridge.

In return, the government has agreed to extend PLUS concession period by another 20 years, from 2038 to 2058. It also said throughout this 38-year period, there would be no toll increase.

Najib said that by right, transportation cost would have dropped in 18 years if PLUS’ concession had ended in 2038, as earlier scheduled.

“And the rakyat will be able to enjoy a slight drop in prices of goods.”

Earlier, Najib said that the biggest winners from this announcement would be the Pakatan Harapan administration, apart from commuters who frequently used the PLUS highways.

PH, he said, would claim that this initiative was part of fulfilling its manifesto.

The PH government, Najib added, would also avoid paying compensation to EPF.

Government sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Bhd owns 51% of PLUS — the country’s largest highway operator — through UEM Group Bhd.

The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) holds the remaining 49%.

“(Lim) Guan Eng will be happy,” Najib said, referring to the finance minister.