PETALING JAYA: MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pic) has criticised the Pakatan Harapan government over its decision to extend the PLUS toll concession period till 2058 instead of abolishing it as promised under its manifesto.
"For the record, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave the initial concession to PLUS for 30 years from 1998 to 2018.
"Then in 1998, Tun extended the concession for 12 years until 2030. The latest is the Pakatan government led by Tun extending it for 20 years to 2058," Dr Wee said in a Facebook post Thursday (Jan 16).
He noted that former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was forced to extend the concession period for eight years in 2005 to settle outstanding compensation left behind under Dr Mahathir's legacy.
"It is simple mathematics, under Tun Dr Mahathir's leadership, the total concession approved in stages is 30 + 12 + 8 + 20 = 70 (years).
"This is a record which can be entered into the 'Malaysia Book of Records'," he said.
Dr Wee also questioned what happened to Pakatan's promise of abolishing tolls.
"If unable to do it, don't promise," he said.
He said that Pakatan had hoodwinked the people by initially promising to abolish tolls but instead proposed a "traffic congestion charge" after taking over the government.
"Now, the toll concession has been extended until 2058," he said.
Earlier on Thursday, the Prime Minister announced that Cabinet had decided not to sell PLUS as the offers were not attractive enough.
Instead, PLUS' ownership would remain under Khazanah Nasional and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), and the toll concession period would be extended by 20 years.
PLUS is the largest highway concessionaire in Malaysia.
Currently, PLUS is controlled by the UEM Group (a subsidiary of Khazanah Nasional), which holds a 51% stake and the remaining 49% by the EPF.
Khazanah had proposed that the best entity to take over PLUS was, in fact, the government.