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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

CRONY 5? 'Only five highway operators make money' - Works minister

Monday, 07 April 2014 17:42

Only five out of 30 highway concessionaires in the country were making a profit, the government claimed today.

Works Minister Fadillah Yusof told Parliament the remaining concessionaires are not making a profit as their numbers of highway users are insufficient.

"In total, there are 30 concessionaires. From this, only five made a profit due to (sufficient numbers of) road users.

"The rest have yet to make a profit because their numbers of road users are still not enough," Fadillah said during Question Time, in response to Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor).

He said this after Irmohizam asked the government's view on reducing toll rates, with the numbers road users continuing to increase.

However, Fadillah did not reveal the names of the concessionaires or the profits they were making.

If certain highways start to become congested, he said, it was the duty of concessionaires to upgrade, as was now being done by PLUS on the North-South Expressway.

On another matter, Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS-Marang) said he was worried about Putrajaya taking instructions from wealthy foreigners in its eagerness to implement the goods and services tax (GST).

"I am concerned that this advice (to implement GST) is coming from overseas 'Qarun', such as the International Monetary Fund and financial scoundrels, including those in our country," Hadi said.

Qarun is a Quaranic figure who was arrogant and spoilt by enormous wealth.

Hadi said the GST would not be necessary if the country was prudent in managing its finances.

However, Shabudin Yahya (BN-Tasek Gelugor) interjected, saying the GST was needed to strengthen the country's fiscal integrity. -Malaysiakini

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