KUALA LUMPUR: PLUS Malaysia Bhd will be able to repay all its debts with the new extension to the toll concession period, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
"With the extension, we believe PLUS can pay back its debts. That is why they have undertaken the conditions fixed," said the Prime Minister.
He was commenting on the Cabinet decision on Jan 15 not to sell PLUS and for Khazanah Nasional and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to retain ownership of the highway concessionaire.
Dr Mahathir also said that as far as Pakatan Harapan was concerned, there would no longer be any tolls on PLUS highways after 2058.
However, he said it would be up to the government in power to decide what happens then.
"As far as we are concerned, there will be no more tolls after 38 years, but at that time, there will be very different people ruling the country and they have the right to make their own decision," he said.
He also said he had seen Maju Group executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed's proposal, who had claimed that his bid was better than what the extension offered.
"I did see Abu Sahid's proposal. We have studied all proposals meticulously and the conclusion at the end is that, this is the only way we can settle the problem.
"This is because Khazanah and EPF already own PLUS. The others would have to buy," said Dr Mahathir.
He was speaking to the media after chairing a monthly Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council meeting at Yayasan Al-Bukhary on Friday (Jan 17).
The Cabinet had decided that PLUS would not be sold, with Dr Mahathir saying that the four bids received were not attractive enough.
He also said the concession period would be extended by 20 years, and the current toll rates would be reduced by 18% on all its highways with a freeze on all hikes.