KUALA LUMPUR: The Cabinet has decided not to sell PLUS to any bidders as they are not attractive enough, says Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
"We have studied all the bids made by the private sector, and also the bid by Khazanah Nasional.
"We decided that the best way is not to sell PLUS to anybody, but to keep it with Khazanah Nasional and Employees Provident Fund (EPF)," he said.
Dr Mahathir also said PLUS would be given a 20-year extension of the toll concession.
He added that people need not worry about the 20-year extension of the toll concession on PLUS, as the reduced flat rate, when compared against future ringgit rates, will be minimal.
"They (PLUS) have to reduce the toll rate by 18%, but remember, 18% is set at today's rate. That means, in 20 years' time, the 18% when compared with the ringgit rate then will not be very high.
"Traffic will increase, but the value and purchasing power of the ringgit will go down, so what they (PLUS) earn afterwards (in 20 years) is not as big as people think they are going to get.
"This is because we are looking at it at the present rate, and it will be a flat rate minus 18%, said Dr Mahathir to the media after officiating Balai Islam Complex at the Tenaga Nasional Bhd headquarters in conjunction with its 70th year," he said.
PLUS is the largest highway concessionaire in Malaysia.
Currently, PLUS is controlled by the UEM Group – a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional – and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF). Khazanah holds 51% stake in PLUS, with the remainding 49% held by the EPF.
Khazanah had proposed that the best entity to take over PLUS was, in fact, the government.
It was reported that four other players vying for PLUS had offered cash for the equity stakes of both Khazanah and the EPF, but the more pressing issues were PLUS’ debts.