By BERNAMA / Pic By BERNAMA
The move to take over the North-South Expressway Project (PLUS) by Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd through the purchase of UEM Group Bhd and Employees Provident Fund (EPF) shares estimated at RM36 billion, should be given due consideration as this will reduce the federal government’s burden, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Mohamed Nazri, who is also an a Umno Supreme Council member, said the federal government had to fork out compensation of about RM900 million to avoid a toll increase, as this would burden highway users following the concession agreement signed by the previous leadership.
“We have to crack our heads every time we (the Cabinet members) discuss on raising the toll rate. If we do not allow the highway concessionaires to increase toll, the federal government will have to pay RM900 million.
“As such, I fully support such proposal because we will not have to pay the RM900 million and almost RM1 billion could be saved for the benefit of the public,” he told reporters after launching the Keretapi Sarong 2017 #SayangMalaysia programme in Kuala Lumpur.
Fashionably dressed in different style and colours of batik sarong and kain pelikat, participants marched proudly from five light rail transit and mass rapid transit stations to tourist sports like Masjid Jamek, KL Sentral and National Museum in conjunction with the 54th Malaysia Day on Saturday.
Recently, Maju Holdings group executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamad expressed his intention to acquire a 51% share held by UEM Group and EPF’s 49% share in PLUS Malaysia Bhd, thereby taking over the country’s major highways, as well as several other highway operators such as Expressway Lingkaran Tengah Sdn Bhd and Linkedua Malaysia Bhd.
The two largest shareholders of PLUS in a joint statement recently said they were in the process of studying the proposal which was submitted by Evercore Asia Ltd on behalf of Maju Holdings, but refused to elaborate further.