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Datuk S. Samy Vellu should give a detailed breakdown of the expenditure of the RM 700 million Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR) project and explain the difference between the original price of RM 410 million in 1998 and the increase of RM290 million
by Lim Guan Eng
(Petaling Jaya, Monday): DAP challenges Works Minister Datuk S. Samy to give a detailed breakdown of the expenditure of the RM 700 Million BORR project and explain the difference between the original price of RM 410 million in 1998 and the increase of RM290 million. In 1998 DAP MP for Bagan Lim Hock Seng was told in Parliament that the cost of BORR was RM 410 million. 8 years later the cost has risen by 71% to RM 700 million and the public has a right to know the reasons for this increase.
In the New Sunday Times interview on 25.2.2007 in denying he is a 'bad boy', Samy said that, "Guan Eng does not realise that BORR is a total scheme. The privatisation part is only RM470 million. But the other part was done by the Public Works Department and it cost RM275 million." There were also false allegations made by Samy which I will respond later.
What I wish to focus now is on the need for Samy to come clean on the BORR. DAP wishes to remind Samy who once claimed, "I have got the cleanest hands in the world" that he must not only clean, he must also be seen to be clean. In the interests or accountability and transparency, he has a responsibility to justify every extra single cent of the RM 700 million spent as well the amount of compensation paid by the government to the highway concessionaire for deferring collection of toll in Sungai Nyior Toll Plaza.
Like all concession contracts, the government has to pay compensation for deferring collection or reducing toll hikes. His refusal to come clean shows he is a "bad boy" who is only out to extract toll on behalf of toll concessionaires. Similarly Samy's refusal to tear down the Sungai Nyior Toll Plaza in BORR shows that the deferment of toll collection is only a temporary device to appease the people and toll will be restored after BN scores a thumping victory in the coming general elections.
DAP had pressed the government not to postpone but cancel toll collection for the Sungai Nyior toll plaza as it is part of an existing access road freely used without any toll paid by local motorists for the past 10 years. If Samy continues to deny this and insist that the stretch of road leading to Sungai Nyior Toll Plaza is part of the BORR and not part of the old road, then why are there as many as 4 traffic lights and is even gazetted as a road with the name of Heng Choon Thean Road? Probably this is the first highway in Malaysia with traffic lights and the "highway" has even a road name.
DAP reiterates our challenge to Samy to hold a dialogue with affected residents of this matter to determine who is telling the truth and whether it is justifiable to collect toll. If he wants to come clean and prove that he is not out to suck any person's blood, then he should have the political courage to face DAP and the people of Butterworth.
* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP