NGOs and Malaysians to join CAUTI in full force to fight unfair toll
by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew
Leaders of various opposition parties and NGOs
gathered at the Parliament House on Monday to form a coalition and to plan
for immediate actions against the unfair toll increase (10% w.e.f January 1,
2004) which was endorsed by the Cabinet.
(Coalition Against Unfair Toll Increase) is the second coalition formed by
the opposition parties and NGOs in the country to fight unfair toll hikes;
the first coalition called CAT (Coalition Against Toll) was formed in 1999.
It was led by Mr Lim Kit Siang, the then DAP national chairman.
inaugural meeting convened by the Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit
Siang, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok was unanimously elected as CAUTI’s chairperson,
with Salahuddin Haji Ayub, PAS Kubang Kerian MP and MTUC Secretary General
G. Rajasekaran as joint deputy chairpersons. Badrul Hisham Shaharin of
Angkatan Muda Malaysia-PKR was elected as Secretary and he will be assisted
by S.Arutchelvan of PSM. Other members include Opposition Leader Lim Kit
Siang, PKR President and Permatang Pauh MP Datin Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail,
Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, Setiawan State
Assemblyman Nge Koo Ham, Charles Santiago of Group of Concerned Citizens,
Abdul Rahman Alli of Perak Consumer Association, DAP labour bureau deputy
chief A. Sivanesan and Ronnie Liu, DAP International Secretary and NGO
bureau chief. CAUTI is still open for other right-minded NGOs to join as
members. And the chairperson was given the task to invite MPs of the ruling
parties to strengthen the coalition.
has decided to draft a memorandum and proceed to get endorsement from other
NGOs before sending it to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi on 27
December 2004. We hope all NGOs would give their full support to the memo
and also participate in the scheduled public protests to be held
simultaneously on Sunday, 26 December 2004 at 5pm at the Butterworth, Senai,
Ipoh and Sg Besi toll plazas. Bukit Mertajam MP Chong Eng, Salahuddin Ayub,
DAP Perak State Chairman Nge Koo Ham and Ronnie Liu were appointed by CAUTI
as the coordinators for the four protests respectively. We hope all
concerned Malaysians would come out in full force on the day to demand for
deferment of toll increase, review of terms and conditions of the contract,
revelation of the full contract, and greater transparency and accountability
on the part of the federal government.
case presented by PLUS managing director Idrose Mohamed to the NEAC
yesterday was incomplete and simply inadequate to answer the serious doubts
of the concerned citizens in general. And Idrose has also failed to provide
any answers to the various questions raised by Lim Kit Siang and other
CAUTI’s leaders, such as the hefty RM38 billion compensation if PLUS was not
allowed to increase toll fees every three years, the secretive extension of
toll collection from 42 years to 50 years, just to name a few.
will be sending a delegation to meet Idrose Mohamed and his colleagues on
Wednesday morning at his Faber Towers office in Taman Desa, Off Jalan Kelang
Lama over the issue.
Malaysians should also remember how Renong’s chairman Tan Sri Halim Saad
incurred heavy losses due to mismanagement of PLUS and other related
businesses and still managed to get away without having to service
government loans, and how a hefty sum was written off by the government in
helping Renong to restructure itself. Malaysians have the rights to know why
billions of taxpayersâ€™ money was spent just to help out a single corporate
tycoon, and in what way this tycoon was related to the ruling parties and
government leaders. Malaysians taxpayers certainly have no obligations to
bail out a single person just because he happens to be a crony of one or two
very powerful government leaders.
join CAUTI to fight for better terms for all road users and consumers if we
do not want to suffer another eight rounds of toll increase every three
fellow Malaysians, see you at the Sg Besi, Senai, Butterworth and Ipoh toll plazas on Sunday.
* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP International
Secretary and NGO bureau chief, committee member of Coalition Against Unfair
Toll Increase (CAUTI)