Govt should take over highways


Three different entities are said to be eyeing the north-south highway cash-cow.

  1. EPF-UEM has just put in a RM23 billion bid for PLUS Expressways.
  2. MMC Corp (yes, MMC again) had offered to buy UEM Group Bhd, the parent company of PLUS.
  3. Asas Serba Sdn Bhd, which last year put in a RM50 billion proposal to take over PLUS and 21 other toll concessions.

PLUS is presently owned by

  • UEM Group Berhad (which is owned by the government) 38.51 per cent
  • Khazanah Nasional Berhad (owned by the Finance Ministry) 16.7 per cent (direct); 21.8 per cent (indirect via UEM)
  • Employees Provident Fund Board 12.4 per cent
  • Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) 6.7 per cent

On the face of it, among the three options so far, the EPF’s interest might seem the most logical as the profits would be channelled back to workers – though much would depend on the terms of the deal and the concession.

But there could be potential conflicts further on. Looking further ahead, what if a future government were to introduce better and faster inter-city rail services, thus improving long-distance public transport so that a journey from Penang to KL might take less than three hours? Wouldn’t projected profits from the North South Highway (and returns to the EPF and thus to workers) plunge?

On the other hand, the government could allow PLUS to raise tolls for the highways to encourage more people to take the new faster trains in the future. This could have a mixed impact on PLUS’ earnings (and returns to workers via EPF) – the higher toll rate compensating for the lower traffic volume (due to improved public transport).

The best bet would be for the government to take over the highways completely, without EPF inv0lvement. This way it could channel part of PLUS’ profits to finance public transport (including inter-city rail) across the country. It could also use the toll rates as a congestion pricing mechanism to encourage more people to use public transport. All this is assuming that the government is really serious about public transport and that the toll collected really does end up in improved public transport infrastructure. To facilitate this, the profits from PLUS should be channelled to a national public transport fund to finance public transport infrastructure.

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21 Oct 2010 4.08am

Gerakan K, you look like a shill, walk like a shill, talk like a shill and probably is a shill. The tolled highways are a burden to the citizens of this country. Also it raises the cost of transportation of goods and makes business more expensive, cuts down competitiveness. It should have never been ‘tolled’. We paid taxes and have one of the highest taxes on imported vehicles. The money from this is more than enough to provide a major free highway connecting all the major cities and towns in our small and condensed Peninsula Malaysia. East Malaysia is where… Read more »

30 Dec 2010 8.39pm
Reply to  Kenchio

U r damn right Kenchio. toll should only be for five years, then government must take back and abolish them. otherwise, no road tax no insurance are they are just private road. now back to business, all business must give back half the profits back to all their employees. then people will see real justice and true economics. otherwise politicians and capitalists are just a lot of wayang kulit.

18 Oct 2010 9.17am

‘My First Home Scheme’ – why is this loan scheme only for civil servants? And for houses costing RM220,000 and below? They are probably located quite far away, whereas these people that you are helping will probably have to spend more on petrol to get to/fro anywhere. You want to do something good, why not just take MP Tony Pua’s suggestion to re-look the bumiputera discount for luxury properties so that the policy is really for the poor and not the rich Malays who are still taking advantage of it to enrich themselves. As such, the bumiputera rich become richer… Read more »

16 Oct 2010 1.11pm

Why do you want to watch free RTM?
I am watching over 80 channels of Chinese TV over the internet for free.
On top of that, I can download volumes of high definition movies and superior TV programs at no charge to me except a reasonable internet connection.

Like handphones and PDAs, the difference between satellite and internet TV is also getting blur.
It makes little sense to remove one tax and introduce another.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
16 Oct 2010 6.58pm
Reply to  wira

Stop those illegal activities now. HD movies are copyrighted and not for you to download freely.

Also stay away from unhealthy JAV.

15 Oct 2010 9.13pm

It is common sense that government MUST TAKE OVER highway IN ORDER TO REMOVE COMPENSATION TERMS!!!

I have NO OBJECTION for private bidding, ONLY IF the agreement DROP the term that require Malaysia to pay the compensation when traffics doesn’t match expectation. This is a big concern, because Malaysia plunge into a oil peak in 2015 is inevitable.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
16 Oct 2010 7.09pm
Reply to  moo_t

That is why we must teach DAP a lesson. Say no to DAP from now on.

We need to tell DAP to shut up when 1Malaysia PM Najib government do the right thing.

For me, DAP looks like a headless chicken that talking/doing without common sense.

18 Oct 2010 9.18am
Reply to  Gerakan K

What exactly is the right thing tha PM najib has done?

Accepting an ostrich as a minister?

15 Oct 2010 8.31pm


Your readers have been complaining of high cost in housing/property.

Yet PM Najib in his Prihatin Bajet will spend RM5 billion to build a 100-storey Warisan Merdeka building in KL.

Why can’t he use the money to build low cost housing for rakyat in every state? Rakyat didahulukan? KL didahulukan?

I am awaiting comments from tunglang and Professor Eu Ah Soon.

ps: I will terminate my Astro to settle for free RTM.

16 Oct 2010 4.45pm
Reply to  Yuna

In my exceeding anger and loath for the obvious unnecessary PREPLANNED wastage of our coming-to-near-broke nation’s limited resources, I can’t in any sense disagree with you and your caring suggestions. But you have to sacrifice your entertainment and educational media which is not haram but should in fact be given free to the Rakyat.
Knowledge from books, radios, internet, television and broadcast channels are important for the Rakyat’s self empowerment and upgrading. But it seems the Rakyat have to sacrifice this important aspect of personal development due to the uncaring ways of Boleh Gomen.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
16 Oct 2010 7.02pm
Reply to  Yuna

I will instead subscribe more package from Astro, eg AOD, Box Office and Astro Beyond. Otherwise it is useless for my 60″ LCD TV.

6% service tax is nothing for me.

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
15 Oct 2010 8.25pm

I think DAP particularly MP Tony Pua must very worry now because the government do the right thing for the people.

Can DAP stop opposing when the government do the right thing for the people ???

16 Oct 2010 8.57am
Reply to  Gerakan K

Gerakan K

What the @#$% are you talking?
Do you call building a 100-storey building a right thing for the people?
Spending more to renovate Najib’s istana is a right thing for rakyat?
Increase service tax and extend it to Astro is a right thing for rakyat?

16 Oct 2010 4.32pm
Reply to  Damien

Sharing the heart-felt sentiments and righteous anger, it is indeed sorry for the average Malaysians who are hard working, belt tightening BUT blind to the antics and forays of these recalcitrant leeches in our midst and leadership.
But never anytime, anywhere, anyhow be sorry for the Gerakan … speciments who have no hearts and ‘commonsense’ of what is right or wrong for the Rakyat and Tanah Air Ku…

Gerakan K
Gerakan K
16 Oct 2010 7.20pm
Reply to  Damien

PLUS highway and other highways take over by the government/GLC are good thing. At least money profited will back to the people.

As a businessman, I realised that another high profile commercial mall/tower will be good for everyone. It also beneficial to our tourism industry.

I think the only people object it are the opposition kakis and other shopping mall operators.

Even school boys and girls like it because there is another venue for them to “lepak”.

Turn KL into vibrant city and don’t follow Kelantan style.

Malaysian Chinese
Malaysian Chinese
17 Oct 2010 8.22am
Reply to  Gerakan K

Gerakan K, How much do you know about Kelantan style? If Kelantan is governed by such a bad “style”, why are people in Kelantan including chinese are still voting for PAS? I’m from Kelantan, i know the Kelantan government is not rich, because they spent most of the money on people in Kelantan. And thanks to federal government for treating unfairly to all PR states, it has successfuly trained PR leaders to think harder and work harder, finding creative / effective ways to save money and serve people better. Oh i wonder when will Gerakan join PR? cause i dont… Read more »

15 Oct 2010 8.08pm

6% service tax for Astro subscriber.

Najib want you to watch RTM for free.

Who buy PLUS I do not care.
Because we will still have to pay toll.

15 Oct 2010 4.51pm

The biggest secret is that MMC’s gearing is already way overboard.

In layman’s term – MMC is already up to its nose with debt, and yet it is buying PLUS.