The toll hike has come into effect on Thursday and, surprisingly, it isn’t just the motorists that are working themselves into dissatisfaction. The Selangor government called a meeting yesterday afternoon with the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) and Kumpulan Perangsang (KPS), to have them explain the matter.
These firms hold a 30 percent stake in Kesas and 20 percent of Sprint, respectively, and the Selangor government takes issue with the hike as, out of the 17 highways that were involved in the rate increase, 12 of them are within Selangor.
As a result, Mentri Besar Azmin Ali, who called for yesterday’s meeting, has instructed both PKNS and KPS to discuss with the board of Kesas Holdings Sdn Bhd and Sprint Sdn Bhd, hopefully to reach a quick resolution.
The Mentri Besar claims the hikes issued by certain concessionaires such as these were decided upon and implemented without prior notification of either company’s board of directors, writes The Star.
Following the MTES meeting on Thursday, Azmin told reporters: "The Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) have instructed PKNS and KPS to write in and call for special board meetings of both the concession companies and to reject and protest against the toll hike,"
He added that despite both the state companies holding minority shares, it is important that PKNS and KPS represents the Selangor government’s stand against allowing any hikes in toll rates at the moment.
“We have told our representatives, as shareholders, to call for the emergency board meetings to discuss the matter and to object the toll hike,’’ said Azmin.
In a statement, Azmin noted how the toll rate increases – some as low as 10sen or as high as RM4.70 – will only further burden the population who are already faced with a poor-performing economy and higher costs of living.
On a related note, he said the state government would consider multiple options to undo the toll hike and urged the Federal government to use funds collected from the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to compensate concessionaires should the decision to overturn the increased toll rates come to pass.
"The GST collections were more than RM6bil. Why not use it to lessen the rakyat’s burden?’” asked Azmin.