All Malaysian citizens should register their
protest against the 10% North-South Expressway toll hike by signing an
by Teresa Kok
Thursday): The Coalition Against
Unfair Toll Increase (CAUTI) set up a petition yesterday, Wednesday, 22
December 2004 on Petition Online, a site dedicated to free online hosting of
The URL for the petition is:
The petition is part of our campaign to highlight
and increase awareness of the issue of the very unfair toll hike on
the North-South Expressway (NSE).
It was evident last week in Parliament that there
were also many BN MPs who were not in support of the toll hike. Today,
I will be writing a letter to Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, chairperson
of the Backbenchers’ Club (who is also the chairman of the Public
Accounts Committee) to invite him and other BN MPs to lend their
support to this issue and to CAUTI.
As time is of the essence, CAUTI urges all
Malaysians citizens and residents to access the Petition Online
website and show their support by signing the petition.
The petition reads:
To the Works
Malaysians, together with the Coalition Against Unfair Toll Increase
(CAUTI) -- made up of concerned Members of Parliament, political
parties, trade unions, consumer organizations and other NGOs –
OPPOSE the 10% increase in toll rates on the North-South Expressway
Last week, Works
Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu announced that the toll hike will
take place on 1 January 2005. He said that the government will have
to pay the concessionaire, PLUS the following amounts if the 10%
toll hike was not implemented:
- RM154 million a
year in compensation OR
- RM38 billion over
the next 33 years.
CAUTI is mystified
and outraged by Samy Vellu’s claim. Why?
1. The grand total
for 33 years of compensation at RM154 million a year is RM5 billion,
NOT RM38 billion. Why the discrepancy?
2. The 30-year NSE
concession – which Samy Vellu negotiated and signed -- started in
May 1988, with a 12-year extension in 1999. This means that the NSE
concession should end in 2030. Another 25 years to go! Why must
compensation be paid to PLUS for the next 33 years, until 2038?
3. With another 25
years to go, at the compensation rate of RM154 million a year, the
total compensation the government is liable to pay is RM3.85 billion
– one-tenth of Samy Vellu’s hyperbolic claim of RM38 billion!
4. Samy Vellu also
said that the NSE was built for 160,000 cars a day but is now being
used by 1,200,000 vehicles. This means a traffic volume which is 7.5
times higher than the forecasted volume, which also means toll
revenue of approximately 7.5 times higher than the forecasted
revenue. This is a windfall for the NSE concessionaire!
It is outrageous
that motorists in this country have to pay increased toll rates when
there are in fact more traffic jams, poorer services and
deterioration of roads on the expressways.
Abdullah Badawi's general election pledge is to lead a fair, just,
open and accountable administration. He says he wants to listen to
the views of the people.
The government must
respect public opinion by at least ordering a deferment of the
unfair toll hike to allow for a comprehensive public study on all
its socio-economic implications.
Note: There will be nationwide protests
against this unfair toll hike on Sunday, 26 December 2004 at 5pm at 4
toll plazas: Sg. Besi, Juru (Penang), Ampang (Perak) and Skudai (Johor).
* YB Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh &
Chairperson of the Coalition Against Unfair Toll Increase (CAUTI)