Finance Ministry: Reducing toll is first step towards its abolishment

GEORGE TOWN (Bernama): Toll reductions of 18% at all highways belonging to PLUS Malaysia Bhd from Saturday (Feb 1) is a step-by-step move implemented by the Pakatan Harapan government towards the goal of abolishing toll, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.

''If we look at what we mentioned, that this is a gradual step towards the end goal. That's what was stated in the promises of the Pakatan Harapan manifesto. But this will definitely take time as we have to wait for the economy to recover, '' he told reporters at a Penang DAP Chinese New Year Open House here Friday (Jan 31) night.

Also present was Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the state DAP leadership line-up.

The sixth promise in the Pakatan GE14 manifesto stated that the coalition would review all highway concession agreements and negotiate to obtain the best prices to take over every toll concession with the final goal of abolishing toll collections in stages.

Prior to this, the Government announced a toll rate discount of 18% would be given to passenger vehicles, buses and taxis, namely, class 1,4 and 5 for the North-South Expressway including the new Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE), North-South Expressway Central Link (Elite), Malaysia-Singapore Second link (Linkedua), East Coast Highway Phase 2 (LPT 2), Seremban - Port Dickson Highway (SPDH), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE) and vehicles class 2,3, 4 and 5 for the Penang Bridge.

Earlier, Lim, who is also Bagan MP, in his speech said the Government would launch a programme to stimulate the economy to ensure a sustainable economic growth.

''We will work harder to lure investments. Yesterday, I chaired a National Committee On Investment meeting with the International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Ignatius Darell Leiking. I want to tell that of the total investments approved, RM1.3bil is to Penang.

''This shows that indeed investments are still coming and entering Malaysia and also to other countries. Today, we immediately carry out effort to reduce the cost of living by reducing toll on PLUS expressways.

''We will carry out other programmes and at the same time we ensure investments can come in fast. This, we are confident, can ensure the lives of the people in the economic development can continue to be maintained, '' he said. – Bernama

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