The 10% toll hike for North-South Expressway beginning next year should be cancelled unless Samy Vellu or PLUS can convince MPs across-the-board next week that the increase is fair and reasonable
Media Conference Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Wednesday): In the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, MPs irrespective of political party, whether Barisan Nasional or the Opposition, rejected the 10% rise in the toll charges on the North-South Expressway (NSE) which is to come into effect from 1.1.2005.
Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who witnessed what has been described in the mainstream media as a “rare show of unity in Parliament”, sought to avoid personal responsibility and accountability by claiming that the decision to raise the toll rates was made by the Government and not him as the Minister responsible for toll charges.
He promised to bring the unanimous objections of MPs on both sides of the political divide to the 10% increase in NSE toll to the attention of the Cabinet today.
I do not know what is the outcome of the Cabinet meeting on the NSE toll hike today, but if Malaysia genuinely practises parliamentary democracy based on the fundamental principle of the supremacy of Parliament, then the Cabinet and the Executive should yield to the unanimous view of Parliament opposing the 10% NSE toll hike next year.
There are two weeks left before the 10% NSE toll hike is to come into force on January 1, 2005. The 10% NSE toll hike should be cancelled unless Samy Vellu or the NSE concessionaire PLUS can convince MPs across-the-board that the increase is fair and reasonable
Samy Vellu and PLUS should hold an urgent briefing next week for all concerned MPs about the 10% toll hike proposal to lay out the socio-economic and financial justifications for the latest toll increase, failing which, the 10% NSE toll hike from 1.1.2005 should be cancelled.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman