By Nizam Zain
KUALA LUMPUR – The people may stop dreaming about having toll-free highways until the financial situation of the country is stabilised and back on track.
The Minister of Works Baru Bian said, as long as the national income is not revived, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government had in principle, decided not to abolish the toll.
“The government policy is clear and we will not abolish toll collections until our national finances stabilises. That is our stand now.
“It will be up to the people (to continue dreaming) as the government’s policy is clear that we will not abolish toll until our country financial situation is stable,” he told the Dewan Rakyat sitting at the Parliament today, answering a supplementary question by the Member of Parliament of Pasir Mas (PAS), Ahmad Fadhli Shaari on how far should Malaysians keep on dreaming to have toll-free highways in the country.
In a statement in Bali earlier, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that it is impossible to have toll-free highway in the country.
Mahathir also disclosed that he did not agree with the toll-free pledge made in the PH election manifesto during the 14th General Election.
Meanwhile, Baru Bian refused to give any warranties that there will be no new toll-free highways after this as the government’s stand is not to abolish tolls for now.
Nevertheless, he said, the government is looking for alternatives and is undergoing discussion in reducing the burdens of the people and motorists of the country.
“It’s true that we will not abolish toll now but we are in discussion of looking for alternatives.
“We may reduce roll rates, perhaps, the would be flat rate, and perhaps, we may give discounts of up to 20 percent during peak hours,” he said.
He also said that the toll rates may not be hiked for the next three years.
“Maybe, we will not increase toll rates for the next two or three years, all these are under discussions.
“Toll-free highways can only be achieved when our country financial status is stable,” he added. -MalaysiaGazette