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More Highway Concessionaires Are Being Restructured

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KUALA LUMPUR – Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof said that more highway concession companies will be involved in discussions about restructuring. The goal is to make it easier for people and the government to pay for things.

He said that the government was happy for private companies to take over highway concessionaires for this reason.

“The government wants the private sector to come up with these terms, where concession companies will return highways to the government once they have paid off their debts. This will be a relief for the people.”

“After this, there will be discussions about reorganising other highway concessions,” he told a special press conference here today.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said earlier today that the government had agreed to the proposed restructuring of four concessionaries. These concessionaries include Kesas Sdn Bhd, which runs the Shah Alam Highway (Kesas), and Syarikat Mengurus Air Banjir dan Terowong Sdn Bhd, which runs the Sistem Pengurusan Air Banjir dan Terowong (Smart).

Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat Sdn Bhd, which runs Lebuhraya Skim Penyuraian Trafik Kuala Lumpur Barat (Sprint), and Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd, which runs the Damasara-Puchong Highway, are the other two companies involved in the restructuring (LDP).

Since Amanat Lebuhraya Rakyat Bhd (ALR) took over these companies, the toll rates on the highways they manage will not go up and will stay the same until the end of their concession periods.

The government will also not have to pay compensations from January 1, 2022, until the end of the concession periods. This will save the government at least RM4.3 billion in toll subsidy payments.

Fadillah said, though, that the date the takeover would start had not yet been set.

“After this, there will be discussions about reorganising other highway concessions.”

– Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof

He said that as part of the restructuring, the concession period for three of the companies would be extended, but the concession period for Smart would be cut.

“However, extending the concession period is not the concession company’s sole right. It depends on how much traffic there is and how often the government checks on it,” he said.

Fadillah said that with this way of reorganising, there would no longer be any shareholders who were interested in making money through returns to shareholders, such as dividends.

He said that the government couldn’t ignore its responsibilities under the existing concession agreements because that would give investors a bad impression of the country and make them less likely to invest there.

“This is in line with the Privatization Policy, which says that private companies will still run and take care of these highways,” he said, adding that ALR would have to hire all of the employees of the four concessionaires.

He said that the government wouldn’t pay anything for the takeovers and wouldn’t guarantee that ALR would get any money to pay for the restructuring of the four concession companies.

He also said that after Kesas, LDP, Sprint, and Smart were restructured, the government would not have to pay for any maintenance or running costs.

Info source – New Straits Times

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