BENTONG: Abolishing the toll along Karak Highway tops the list of 10 pledges under Bentong Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.
This is based on the premise that Pakatan is able to wrestle Putrajaya and Pahang state government from Barisan Nasional.
Unveiled at its operation centre here, the manifesto explained the plan to purchase the toll concession gradually to make Karak Highway toll-free.
According to the manifesto, this is to allow Bentong youths working in Kuala Lumpur to live in Bentong and save on rental and food.
Lee Chin Chen, the DAP candidate for Bilut state seat, said the plan to abolish the toll was part of the Pakatan’s national manifesto.
Asked on the feasibility of the pledge, Lee replied: “Let the people give Pakatan a chance and we will show you whether this can be done or not.”
A video on this particular promise, featuring the four Pakatan candidates in Bentong, was posted on Bentong DAP’s Facebook page.
Presently, two-way travel between Kuala Lumpur and Bentong via the Karak Highway costs RM19.
Other promises in the manifesto for Bentong included upgrade of infrastructure, build an integrated administration centre, invigorate industrial zone, ensure safety of drinking water, promote eco-tourism, upgrade medical infrastructure and promote Bentong as an agricultural centre.
Pakatan also pledged to upgrade basic infrastructure in new villages and promote each of its unique culture.
It also promised to see to the completion of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) at a transparent and reasonable cost, as well as to ensure that environmental impact during its construction is minimised.
DAP’s Bentong parliamentary candidate Wong Tack, who is challenging MCA president and incumbent Datuk Liow Tiong Lai in GE14, said Pakatan had never opposed the ECRL project as railway would undeniably boost economic growth.
“But how much is the real cost and has research been carried out to reduce environmental impact?
“The open tender process should not put the rakyat at a disadvantage and burden the future generation with heavy debt,” he said.
Also present at the announcement were DAP candidates for Ketari state seat Young Syefura Othman and Sabai state seat Kamache Doray Rajoo.
Lee stressed that the 10 promises could only be fulfilled if Pakatan forms the federal and state governments.
Meanwhile, Wong had complained on his Facebook page that the Election Commission had cut out the Barisan Nasional logo from two Pakatan’s billboards here that highlighted the pledge to abolish the Karak Highway toll.
The billboards feature visual of cars travelling into the mouth of a crocodile tagged with a Barisan logo.
Commenting on this, Liow said the Opposition labelled toll collection as a bane created by the Federal Government, while most of the toll concessions were awarded during the rule of then premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
“The seed was planted by Dr Mahathir but the current administration is blamed for it,” he said.
Liow added that the Barisan government was dedicated to upgrading the road network, an example being the toll-free Central Spine Road project here.
Infrastructure projects such as the ECRL, he said, would also lessen the burden of the people.
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