Cabinet to decide on takeover of PLUS and four other toll operators

PUTRAJAYA: The Cabinet is expected to decide on the takeover of PLUS Malaysia Bhd and four other highway concessionaires next week, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (pic).

He said a decision must be made soon so that the government could avoid paying more in compensation.

“The Cabinet is likely to make a decision next week. We have already announced the freeze on toll hikes for this year and the government has to pay compensation to toll operators.

“We need to come up with a decision on this quickly as the clock is ticking and the compensation will continue to increase, ” he said after closing the Putrajaya Lift Festival 2019 yesterday.

Lim said this was requested by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to ensure a proper review of the information before a decision was made.

PLUS is the largest highway concessionaire in the country, operating eight expressways under five concessions.

Its highways are the 772km North-South Expressway which runs from Bukit Kayu Hitam to Johor Baru; the New Klang Valley Expressway; Federal Highway Route 2; the Seremban-Port Dickson Highway; the NSE Central Link; the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link; Lebuhraya Butterworth-Kulim and the Penang Bridge.

Its concession will expire in December 2038.

The government is also expected to decide on the way forward for four highway concessionaires under Gamuda Bhd.

The concessionaires are Lingkaran Trans Kota Holdings Bhd, Kesas Sdn Bhd, Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Holdings Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Mengurus Air Banjir and Terowong Sdn Bhd (Smart).

Gamuda has stakes in all companies and the Ministry of Finance Inc announced in June a plan to take over four highways in the Klang Valley for RM6.2bil.

On another matter, Lim said it was up to the Cabinet to decide whether there should be a cut in allowances for ministers.

“I believe this matter should be decided by the Cabinet, so we should let the Cabinet decide if this is to be implemented, ” the minister said.

Several ministers, in the wake of the government’s move to abolish Critical Service Incentive Allowance for new intake across the civil service next year, had expressed views that they had no problem should their allowance be slashed.Among them were Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

Dr Mahathir, however, had agreed to postpone the move and a decision would be made only after a discussion by the Cabinet at the first meeting in January.

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