It is really none of my business on whether or not toll rates go up. Of course I would like to see it go down because the RM 12 per day that I pay takes up a large chunk of my salary.
But what I can't accept is people who try to be heroes or make a lot of noise without facts.
On Feb 7, YB Nga Kor Ming said "Demi kroni, BN gadaikan hak rakyat. Krn kontrak kangkung, dlm 3 thn Krjn bayar RM976 juta pampasan kpd konsensi TOL."
The compensation, I believe, is calculated by (New toll rate -
current toll rate) x (Traffic volume in that year). The definition of "New toll rate" here
is the figure in the concession agreement while current toll rate is what we pay. The difference ... is the required compensation to ensure that today, tomorrow and forever you pay what you have been paying yesterday.
Did you know that toll rates in Malaysia for most, if not all of the concessions, are based on a step up rate? This means that there is a schedule of toll increment every X years. In this case, the expected revenue stream, in simple terms without time value of money, is simply just = (Price x Traffic Volume x Concession Period).
Seriously, you expect Tan Sri Irwan Serigar the Treasurer General to just wake up one fine morning and say "hey! Let's increase toll rates" ???
To enable the project to be bankable (ie you can borrow money to finance the roads development), I believe the Government agreed on a step up rate every X years. For example, an increase of 5% every 3 years under PLUS and Government also agreed on the concession period. This is public knowledge, found on The Star's Archive HERE and on NST's Archive HERE so Special Branch shouldn't worry or bother investigating me.
What is not guaranteed by the Government is the traffic volume (well, maybe just 1 ... long long time ago).
If no one uses LEKAS for example OR if many cars use LDP's non
tollable roads OR if we bypass Damansara Link toll plaza through the inner
road, then that's okay. Government will still tell the operators "That's your
problem, mate. But you must maintain that highway according to
This is a fair deal to the Government.
Did you know that there are 1 million users
on LDP's non toll areas (it is an open system) but only 440,000 vehicles
pass through their four toll plazas only?
Yes, of course, you can't be bothered with these details. All you care about is HIGH TOLL RATES and we are benefiting cronies.
Is this true?
Let's look at Australia. According to Wikipedia HERE, EastLink Toll Road in Melbourne which is managed by ConnectEast, has a concession that's valid for 39 years. This means that Australians must pay until 2047 if I am not mistaken (they started operations in year 2008). PLUS' concession ends in 2038.
What about toll rates?
Did you know that EastLink's toll rates are adjusted EVERY YEAR based on inflation numbers? Read it HERE. TIAP TIAP TAHUN TOL NAIK!
Please tell me. Which UMNO crony owns the toll roads in Melbourne?
Let me show you some math. According to news report, PLUS toll rate in 2009 was at 13.60 sen per km. If we used Australia's annual CPI adjusted model, PLUS should have charged us 14.358 sen per km in 2012 and 14.596 sen per km in 2013.
But guess what? Today, you still pay 13.60 cents per km.
Of course, this is just one example and simple math. I might have missed out some things.
But if our Malaysian MPs like YB Nga Kor Ming cannot even do some brief research and analysis like this but instead spend time slamming the Government with no baseline data and facts, it is really bad.
Good for nothing ... memalukan saja, YB.
*The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not represent the views of any other individuals or organizations.