Khazanah to work closely with govt, PLUS on toll restructuring

A Malaysian highway user pays a toll station in Kuala Lumpur December 18, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy May
A Malaysian highway user pays a toll station in Kuala Lumpur December 18, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 17 — Khazanah Nasional Bhd will work closely with the government and PLUS Malaysia Bhd on the toll restructuring initiative announced today, which will see an 18 per cent reduction in toll rates.

Khazanah will also ensure that the initiative is implemented effectively for the benefit of highway users, while maintaining the interests and rights of key stakeholders, including holders of PLUS’ debt.

Welcoming the toll restructuring decision, managing director Datuk Shahril Ridza Ridzuan said Khazanah recognised the complexity in meeting the demands of multiple key stakeholders, especially the people of Malaysia.

“The decision to reduce the toll rates for PLUS highway users while providing considerable savings for the government is a significant move.

“In addition, entrusting PLUS to its existing shareholders will ensure that the high standards of safety, comfort and convenience currently enjoyed by users will be maintained,” he said in a statement here.

Shahril Ridza said the sovereign wealth fund can now move forward to discuss the implementation of the initiative with all other stakeholders.

“Khazanah and PLUS will announce further details on the toll restructuring initiative after further consultation with the government and other key stakeholders,” he said, while also welcoming the government’s decision to maintain Khazanah and the Employees Provident Fund as PLUS’ shareholders.

Khazanah’s statement noted that the 18 per cent toll rate reduction will be applicable on highways operated by PLUS, namely the North-South Expressway (NSE), North Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE) and North–South Expressway Central Link (ELITE).

Others are Seremban-Port Dickson Highway, East Coast Expressway Phase 2 (LPT2), Second Link Expressway (Linkedua), Butterworth-Kulim Expressway and the Penang Bridge.

The reduced toll rates will remain fixed throughout the concession period of the highways, which will be extended by 20 years from 2038 to 2058.

Additionally, all outstanding and future toll compensation will be waived, providing an estimated savings of RM42 billion for the government.

The Prime Minister’s Office earlier today announced that the toll charges for private vehicle users plying the PLUS operated highways will be reduced by 18 per cent effective February 1 and there will be no toll hikes until 2058.

The decisions pertaining to the matters were made in the Cabinet meeting on January 15. — Bernama

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