KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan government should have kept to its pledge of abolishing tolls, says Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
The MCA president was commenting on the government's recent decision for extending the PLUS toll concession period till 2058 instead of abolishing it as promised in its manifesto.
He said the government made U-turns on matters that it should not.
"This government 'U-turns' on matters that they should not, but does not reverse decisions when they should.
"They should have U-turned on the flying car, and the free breakfast programmes in schools should have been reversed much earlier.
"They keep U-turning on the black shoes issue until people are confused," he told reporters at the VTAR Institute's graduation ceremony at Wisma MCA on Saturday (Jan 18).
The government had on Wednesday (Jan 15) confirmed they had decided not sell PLUS' highways, and would instead slash 18% of its toll prices and extend its concession until 2058.
Dr Wee said the government should not make it out to seem like their decision was benefitting the people when, in fact, the toll concession had been extended by another 20 years.
"I am extremely disappointed that 18% discount is based on a 20-year extension which the government did not initially reveal.
"If you mention it, people will just curse and swear. We are not stupid. Don't think people are stupid.
"It's something that people know how to calculate," he said.
On a separate matter, he said the government should improve the vocational skills of those with low income instead of bumping up minimum wages.
"If you want to reduce foreign dependency, you need to up the skills of local talent.
"You need to identify how many are earning below minimum wage in Malaysia, let's say there are about 100,000 of them. You need to nurture their talent and then their salaries can double or triple.
"You don't need to adjust the minimum wage, and you wouldn't have to force the SMEs to immediately pay for the increase in wages," he said.
In his speech at the ceremony, Dr Wee said the youth were the driving force of the nation and that Malaysia should not have to rely on foreign labour.
"It is important to equip the youth to be competitive in the global market. With this mission in mind, VTAR will nurture more vocational and technical talents to help achieve the nation's high-income target," he said.
VTAR Institute's 23rd graduation ceremony saw a total of 287 students graduate from seven vocational courses, including electrical installation, hairdressing, and furniture.
VTAR chief executive Tan Cheng Liang said VTAR graduates were highly sought-after as the market needed skilled workers.
"All our students have received many job opportunities even before they graduated. I am proud to say that some of our graduates are entrepreneurs setting up their own company," said Tan.
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