Friday, October 16, 2015

DAP-PKR-PAS to be blamed just like BN for 'extreme stupidity' and toll hikes? Malaysians are not fools to be kept in the 'dark'?

Interesting that DAP is now blaming Putrajaya, or the UMNO-led BN government, over these agreements with the highway firms BUT since 2008, was not DAP also part of the government in Selangor, Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Perak for a while in these states governed by the DAP-PAS-PKR. Since 2013, the DAP-PAS-PKR governed the states of Selangor, Penang and Kelantan. Now, as government, did they do anything with regards to tol highways, noting that some of them have been operating in the States that they govern.

In fact, the Selangor government under DAP-PAS-PKR also started owning part of some of these highway companies, to the extend that they also have Directors in some of these companies - like Sivarasah Rasiah, PKR MP, who recently was disclosed as being a Director in the company that collects tol in the Sprint Highway.(See Sivarasa's Press Statement below). Without the Board of Directors' approval, CEOs or management cannot act on their own to suddenly increase toll rates.

QUESTION:- How many other 'highway companies' do the DAP-PKR-PAS governments and/or companies own? Remember, as co-owners,  DAP-PKR-PAS are also committing 'highway robbery', and causing suffering to the people?

The 'Toll Agreements' - Surely as co-owners, or even by being the government of the States they control on which these highways run and tol are collected, DAP-PKR-PAS do have access to the 'extremely stupid' agreements - and they should have disclosed these agreements to the public, and their plans to get rid of all these tolled highways.

BN, if I am not wrong, at the beginning of these 'need to pay tol to use' highways, the BN government  promised the people that there will be alternative good free roads that people could still use. 

If not mistaken, the BN government also promised that these 'free public roads' will not just be maintained but even improved into 2-lane roads in either directions. Now, looking at the state of all these 'free' Federal and State roads all over Malaysia - upkeep is far lacking, even the white road lines are almost gone making some of these roads in rural areas where there are no street lights extremely dangerous especially at night, during rain or even haze...

Well, let us see what the DAP-PKR-PAS has done? Now, honestly DAP-PAS-PKR maybe should no longer be considered Opposition but really government. They are government in some places, whereby here the BN sits as Opposition. Maybe, time for Malaysia to have truly Opposition political parties is here. 

Being in government somehow, even if at the State levels, seems to have changed DAP-PAS-PKR.

Malaysia is a Federation - so States come under the control of State governments. No businesses can operate in a State without the State's consent. Even the Federal government will have to get the approval of the State government for Federal government's offices and premises - they will have to pay the required 'cukai tanah'(land tax) and quit rents. Hence, the State governments of Selangor for instance can stop tol collections in Selangor, and in fact can also acquire all private roads owned by these private companies, or even the Federal government. 

Personally, when the government build and maintained roads using our JKR, things were better - maybe all roads, highways and other facilities that provide basic amenities for the State should be nationalized. I wonder whether the DAP-PAS-PKR governments wants this, or are they still happy to keep things as they are under the BN government? 

Wrong it is for the Federal Government to be paying these 'toll concessionaires' to keep the tol rates low - as this is most unfair for the rest of us Malaysians who still do not even proper well-maintained roads in our smaller towns and rural areas. Government money should be expended to benefit ALL Malaysians everywhere - with a priority placed on rural and/or less developed parts of the country. Look at the public transportation in KL and Klang Valley, and compare it with so many other smaller towns and rural areas - not even regular internal public transport, let alone radio taxis with meters(or fixed rates). Compare rail services in the West Coast of the Peninsular with the East Coast, not to mention Sabah and Sarawak?

Privatization and corporatization of public amenities really need to be reviewed especially for facilities that provide our basic amenities - transport, electricity, water, sewage treatment, health... Now our BN government often uses these 'private companies' as excuses to increase prices and toll rates... maybe also as a means to escape responsibility and blame...

What did PKR-DAP-PAS do when workers at the tolls lost jobs? Kept quite? How much really is Azmin Ali's DAP-PKR-PAS government earning from the toll people pay? MTUC: Workers losing jobs due to automated toll systems (ALIRAN)

PKR-DAP-PAS really need to come clean and tell us whether they will change things in Malaysia for the better, or all that all they will do is really just take over the running of things just in the same way that BN has done...

Interestingly, PKR-DAP-PAS is good in highlighting the wrongs of BN (something that we all appreciate) but really what about the alternatives that they would do... or 'what they would do differently from BN'. 1MDB - but is not Selangor also having similar government companies?

DAP blasts Putrajaya’s ‘extreme stupidity’ over agreements with highway firms

DAP says agreements between Putrajaya and toll concessionaires allow the latter to commit highway robberies and make astronomical profits at the expense of the people. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 16, 2015. 
DAP says agreements between Putrajaya and toll concessionaires allow the latter to commit highway robberies and make astronomical profits at the expense of the people. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 16, 2015. 
The massive toll hikes which took effect yesterday were due to Putrajaya's "outrageously stupid agreements" with highway concessionaires, DAP said today, as Malaysians grapple with rising cost of living.

Tearing apart the government's claim the move was to reallocate funds from toll compensation to other spendings, the party's national publicity secretary Tony Pua claimed there is an escape clause in the agreements that can put a stop to the move but was not utilised by the Barisan Nasional government.
"The real blame for the massive hike in toll rates and the 'very high' compensation that the government has had to pay all these while is because of the extreme stupidity when signing these concession agreements.
"By awarding these highway privatisation contracts directly without any open and competitive tenders, BN colluded with these crony companies to allow them to collect high toll rates which increases over time.  "As a result, these toll concessionaires commit BN-sanctioned highway robberies which enabled the cronies to make astronomical profits at the expense of the rakyat," he said in a statement today.
Eighteen highways nationwide, 12 of which are in the Klang Valley, have increased their toll rates from between 10 sen to RM6 effective yesterday.  
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar (pic, left) had said the government felt it should not continue to pay very high compensation to highway concession companies to keep toll rates from rising.

He revealed that Putrajaya had to pay RM510 million in compensation for January to October this year following the decision to postpone the toll rate increase, which should have been implemented in January.
The amount, he added, was higher compared to the RM403 million compensation paid to concession companies last year.
Pua said that by admitting the toll compensation was "very high", Wahid was essentially saying the increase should be shouldered by the public who are already struggling to cope with high costs of living due to the goods and services tax (GST), the depreciation of the ringgit and the sluggish economy.

He said the "high compensation" argument is an extremely poor but oft-used excuse to subject the public to higher toll rates.

"Worse, despite claiming that 'the hike was carried out according to the concession agreements signed earlier', Wahid’s department failed to learn the lessons from the past and continues to directly award highway contracts without any tenders today.

"Hence we can only expect all current and future highways to continue strangling the Malaysian motorists in the future as toll rates rise even more drastically," he added.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP said the opposition had repeatedly emphasised that despite the lopsided concessionaire agreements which favoured highway companies, Putrajaya has an "escape clause" in the form of an option to terminate the agreements anytime and only need to pay compensation for the cost of the highway, after minusing any grants provided by the government.

However, he said the government had refused to do so, claiming that it needs to compensate concessionaires for loss of future profits.

"The above clearly shows that the federal government is in complete cahoots with the highway companies and couldn’t care less for the plight of the ordinary folks of this country, contrary to the BN election manifesto." – October 16, 2015.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Sprint Toll Increase - Kenaikan Toll Sprint


RE SPRINT Highway toll increases dated 14th October 2015.

I have received many queries in social media as to whether I am on the board of SPRINT Sdn Bhd ( in full - Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Sdn Bhd ) and whether I supported the toll increase as a member of the board.

These are the facts. I do sit on the board of SPRINT Sdn Bhd as a representative of Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd ( KPS) which owns twenty (20) percent of the shares of SPRINT. Gamuda Group owns the other eighty (80) percent.

The question of my support for the toll increase does not arise because the issue was never brought to a board meeting of SPRINT for discussion.  The SPRINT management have implemented the  toll increase pursuant to a letter received about a week ago from Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia ( LLM) informing them of several matters - that the Federal Government was not prepared to increase their compensation anymore, that SPRINT could increase their toll rates as specified in the letter and such increases must be announced by the company itself.  The toll increase was then announced. It was not referred to the board of directors by circular resolution or a meeting.

I am not in agreement with such an increase. Given the current state of the economy, this is the wrong time to further burden the people of Selangor and Malaysia with toll increases on top of the continuing increase in prices and GST.  My position is consistent with that of the Pakatan Selangor government headed by Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.

I am therefore writing to the Chairman of SPRINT, Ir. Hj. Yusoff  bin Daud to convene a special board meeting to discuss and review the matter. I have also reported the matter to  Menteri Besar Azmin Ali and will act on any further instructions given by him.

Sivarasa Rasiah
Member of Parliament for Subang

PERNYATAAN AKHBAR bertarikh 14hb Oktober 2015
Kenaikan kadar tol oleh SPRINT Sdn Bhd.

Saya telah menerima banyak soalan di dalam media sosial samada saya adalah ahli lembaga SPRINT Sdn Bhd ( nama penuh adalah Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat ) dan samada saya telah menyoking kenaikan tol sebagai seorang ahli lembaga pengarah.

Berikut adalah kenyataan.  Saya memang adalah seorang anggota lembaga pengarah SPRINT sebagai wakil Kumpulan Perangsang Selangor Bhd (KPS) yang merupakan pemilik dua-puluh peratus saham SPRINT. Kumpulan Gamuda memiliki baki lapan-puluh peratus saham.

Persoalan sokongan saya sebagai ahli lembaga pengarah untuk kenaikan tol tidak timbul langsung.  Isu kenaikan tol tidak pernah dirujuk kepada lembaga pengarah untuk dibincang.  Pengurusan SPRINT telah melaksanakan kenaikan tol menurut satu surat dariapda Lemabaga Lebuhraya Malaysia ( LLM) yang diterima seminggu lalu yang telah maklumkan, antaranya, saperti berikut - bahawa kerajaan Persekutuan tidak akan bayar lebih pampasan kepada syarikat, bahawa SPRINT boleh naik kadar tol selaras dengan kadar yang tertera dalam surat tersebut, dan syarikat bertanggung jawab untuk mengumumkan kadar kenaikan tol. Ekoran surat itu, kenaikan tol diumumkan oleh syarikat. Perkara itu tidak dirujuk sebelum itu kepada lembaga pengarah melalui pekeliling atau mesyuarat.

Saya tidak setuju dengan kenaikan tol yang telah diumumkan.  Memandangkan keadaan ekonomi sekarang, ini bukan masa yang sesuai untuk menambahkan beban atas rakyat Selangor dan Malaysia dengan kenaikan kadar tol bertambah kenaikan harga barang yang berterusan dan juga GST.  Pendirian saya, saya anggap, adalah selaras dengan pendirian Kerajaan Selangor Pakatan yang dipimpin oleh YAB Menteri Besar Azmin Ali.

Justeru, saya akan menulis kepada Pengerusi syarikat SPRINT, Ir Hj.Yusuff bin Daud untuk memanggil satu mesyuarat khas lembaga pengarah untuk membincang dan kajisemula perkara ini.  Saya telah juga melapurkan perkara ini kepada YAB Menteri Besar Azmin Ali dan akan melaksanakan apa-apa arahan lanjut daripada beliau.

Sivarasa Rasiah
Ahli Parlimen Subang


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