More restructuring of highway operators is being planned - how are they planning to do it and how does it affect you?
Following the announcement made yesterday by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the Amanat Lebuhraya Rakyat Bhd's (ALR) offer to buy shares of four Gamuda -linked highway concessions, Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said more restructuring with highway operators is being planned.
"The government welcomes the private sector to come up with terms like this, whereby concessionaires will hand back the highway to the government once they settle the debt."
"This will ease the burden of the people. There will be negotiations on a restructuring involving other highway concessions after this," he said, as reported by Bernama.
During the announcement yesterday, the Malaysian PM said that highway toll rates operated by four concessionaires - Kesas, Smart Tunnel, Sprint and LDP - would not be increased until their concessions expired, and this would be done by restructuring the four companies.
"To help ALR achieve the objectives of its establishment, the Government has agreed to extend the concession period to KESAS, LDP, SPRINT and SMART in exchange for not raising toll rates. However, the extension of this concession period is not the exclusive right of the concession company and is subject to the number of traffic as well analysis by the Government from time to time," Fadillah said as reported by The Malaysian Reserve.
ALR is described as a private, non-profit organisation with a mandate to assist the Government. It is chaired by Tan Sri Azlan Mohd Zainol where all the shareholders' shares are not-for-profit.
There will be no more profit-oriented shareholders through this restructuring, while the existing shareholders – the EPF, KWAP, PNBM and Lembaga Tabung Haji- will get an early investment return.
"Users of these highways will no longer have to worry about a possible increase in tolls, nor will the government have to use the people's tax revenues to pay compensation to concessionaires." said Fadillah."
This is not the first time the Government has tried to do this because in 2019, the Pakatan Harapan government offered RM6.2 billion to take over four similar toll concessions related to Gamuda. However, the difference now is that the Government has managed to not spend any money on the deal as well as having not to maintain and operate all the related highways.
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