PM: Decision up to govt of the day


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 18 Jan 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: After the PLUS toll concession ends in 38 years, it will be up to the government then to decide on what should be done, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.The Prime Minister said as far as Pakatan Harapan was concerned, there should be no more tolls on PLUS highways.

“After 38 years, there will be very different people ruling the country at that time and they will have the right to make their own decision.

“With the extension, we believe PLUS can pay back its debts. That is why they have undertaken the conditions we fixed.

“This is by Khazanah Nasional and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF),” he told reporters after chairing a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) meeting here last night.

He was commenting on the Cabinet’s decision on Wednesday not to sell PLUS and retain the highway concessionaire under Khazanah and EPF as it currently is.

PLUS had agreed to lower the current toll by 18% on all its highways as early as Feb 1 and will get in return an extension of its current concession by 20 years until 2058.

Dr Mahathir said he had seen the bids by four other companies.

He added that although Maju Holdings claimed its bid was better, the Cabinet had studied all bids meticulously and decided to retain PLUS under Khazanah and EPF without bringing in new buyers.“I did see (Maju Group executive chairman) Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamed’s proposal and we studied all proposals meticulously.“This is the only way we can settle the problem because Khazanah and EPF already own PLUS. The others would have to buy,” said Dr Mahathir.

The Prime Minister, who is also acting Education Minister, added that he needed time before deciding what was to be done at the ministry.

After meeting with the top officers of the ministry on Thursday, he said he was “feeling a little confused”.

“I had a long briefing. I am still digesting the items that they briefed me on and I am still a little confused because of so many facts given to me. I am studying them.

“One thing I have decided is that you can wear brown shoes, black shoes, grey shoes, white shoes, any shoes will do,” he said, taking a jibe at former education minister Dr Maszlee Malik’s controversial change from white to black shoes for national schools.On another issue, Dr Mahathir said Bersatu would not take any action against its Dengkil assemblyman and Bersatu members who were arrested during a drug-fuelled party last week until the courts decided on the matter.

He said Adhif Syan Abdullah and the Bersatu members arrested would only be suspended from the party for now.

Dr Mahathir also said that in the coming inaugural Bersatu party polls, the party would not cap the amount of money party members could spend during campaigning.

“Most of our members are not as rich as Umno members. A total of 189 divisions are eligible to take part in the Bersatu annual general meeting,” he said, adding that the AGM would be held from June 25-28.

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PLUS , toll concession , Mahathir Mohamad

   

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