KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — The government has chosen to maintain existing toll rates at all expressways in the country for 2019, said Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today.
In a statement disclosing the Cabinet decision from December 12, he said the move will cover all vehicle classes on the country’s 21 highways eligible to increased toll rates next year, at a cost of RM994.43 million to taxpayers’ monies.
When tabling Budget 2019 in November, Lim had announced the moratorium on toll rate increases for intracity highways only.
“The comprehensive toll hike freeze for 21 highways across the country for 2019, the toll hike freeze for buses on 8 additional highways, along with the abolition of motorcycle tolls for the Penang Bridge (First Penang Bridge), the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge (Second Penang Bridge) and the Second Link in Johor beginning January 1, 2019, will cost the government RM994.43 million next year for the benefit of all Malaysians,” said Lim.
The highways affected include PLUS, Linkedua, Kesas, Elite, LPT 1, Besraya, NPE, LDP, Akleh, BKE, Duke, Mex, Lekas, SDE, Sprint, SKVE, SPDH, NNKSB, Guthrie Corridor, JPP2 and Smart.
As Lim announced when tabling Budget 2019, the government will abolish toll for motorcyclists travelling through the Penang Bridge (First Penang Bridge) and the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge (Second Penang Bridge) in Penang, as well as through the Second Link in Johor.
He also said that the moratorium cost would have been RM972.75 million if the collection for motorcycles was maintained, as the move is set to cost the government RM20 million in compensation annually.
The Cabinet has also agreed to freeze toll hikes for buses on eight separate highways with an estimated cost of RM1.68 million.
The highways include Grandsaga, Kuala Lumpur-Karak, Borr, Silk, Latar, NPE and Sprint.
Today’s announcement also comes after another by Lim yesterday that said the Bantuan Sara Hidup direct cash aid will be paid out earlier, in January, and using the previous records used for the discontinued 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M).