Archive for December 21st, 2006

Toll Hike Demo

December 21, 2006

Found this news in the comments section of latest entry. However, there is no link to the actual site of the news. A quick search on Google found the news to be from Malaysiakini.

Anyway, here is the news I copy and pasted from I personally think the demo will be more effective if it is organised by normal people rather than a political party. Unfortunately, a normal person will not have the ability to organise such a thing, unless you are a substantially influential person.

Thousands expected at anti-toll hike demo
Bede Hong
Dec 19, 06 12:28pm

Opposition parties and consumer groups are planning a mammoth protest against the increase in toll hikes for five major highways in the Klang Valley.

It is learnt that thousands are expected to turn up at the protest which will be held along the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) highway on Jan 7.

PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said the Islamic opposition party alone will bring between 5,000 and 10,000 protestors.

“We are sad that the government is not considerate towards the people, especially those with low incomes,” he said when met after a closed-door discussion in Kuala Lumpur last night.

The hour-long discussion at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall was attended by DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Parti Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general S Arutchelvan, PAS treasurer Hatta Ramli, Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua and Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Syed Shahrir Syed Mohammad.

A `Protes Kenaikan Tol’ committee has been set up and will be helmed by Syed Shahrir.

Last week, the government announced that the toll rates for the five highways will rise between 20 to 60 percent effective Jan 1. LDP will see its toll rise from RM1 to RM1.60.

Tian said the Jan 7 protest will not only see the participation of party members. “Local residents who are unhappy with the toll hike will also participate, ” he added when met at the same venue. Syed Shahrir said the committee has yet to decide on the exact
location to hold the protest.

“It would likely be somewhere where there are parking spaces for the protestors. We would not be blocking traffic. However, we would be visible to road users.

“It’s a big mobilisation. I don’t think it would be solely because of the toll hikes. The public is very angry at a combination of things that happened this year, including the fuel hikes,” he added. Buy back highways.

The committee will also submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister’s Department on Dec 27 denouncing the toll hikes.

The memorandum will call on the government to make public the clauses in the concessionaire agreements and to buy back the concessions.

Works Minister S Samy Vellu disclosed that it cost RM4.13 billion to construct the five highways: LDP, Shah Alam Highway, Cheras-Kajang Highway, Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway and the Guthrie Corridor Expressway.

The minister also revealed that a RM2.589 billion compensation package for the five concessionaires was to be incurred from Jan 1, 2007 when the new toll rates take effect to the next review in toll rates, which is between 2010 and 2012.

Samy Vellu also said the government had to compensate a total of RM2.275 billion to the operators of four of the five highways, not including Guthrie Corridor, which is a new highway.

However, while he gave a breakdown of this figure, he did not specify over what period of time this amount was paid.

But going by this, the government could be paying as much as RM4.9 billion in compensation alone for the highways.

Opposition party DAP has urged the government to buy up the five highways by paying the concessionaires RM4.13 billion for the total construction cost.

In a related development, DAP will proceed with the Dec 31 protest at the Grand Saga toll plaza along the Cheras highway. The protest is jointly organised by the Bandar Mahkota Cheras Open Access Road Action Committee (BMC-OARAC).

On Sunday, a protest organised by DAP and BMC-OARAC saw some 800 people taking to the streets in Cheras to vent their frustration against the toll hike.