Gamuda: No discussion with PN govt on toll takeover

There’s been no official word from the current govt on the direction of the proposed takeover of its 4 highway concessionaires


A PLAN by the former Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration to takeover Gamuda Bhd’s highway assets has hit a snag as no discussion has transpired between the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government and Gamuda.

Gamuda’s group MD Datuk Lin Yun Ling said there had been no official word from the current government on the direction of the proposed takeover of its four highway concessionaires in the Klang Valley.

“We are waiting for the update, but whether it happens or not, is not a significant priority to the growth of the group’s business,” he told reporters in a virtual media briefing yesterday.

Last year, the PH government made a RM6.2 billion offer to acquire Konsortium Expressway Shah Alam (Kesas), Damansara-Puchong Expressway, Sistem Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (Sprint) and Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (SMART).

Gamuda owns a 44% stake in Lingkaran Trans Kota, 50% stake in Sprint, 70% stake in Kesas and 50% stake in SMART.

The proposed acquisition cost was expected to be funded by a bond issuance that is fully paid from the collection of congestion charges.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof in August said the government has yet to decide on the takeover and has not set any timeline to complete the acquisition.

For 2021, Gamuda aims to secure a new orderbook worth RM10 billion which is expected to be contributed from its tenderbook in Australia and Penang.

“We have been shortlisted for a few mega projects including the M6 Stage 1 Highway and two packages of Sydney Metro West that we are targeting, so we are hopeful of some orderbooks in 2021 from the Australian market,” Lin said. The three work packages in Australia are worth A$2 billion (RM6.04 billion) each.

He said the other RM5 billion is expected to come from Penang, as the state government deemed it important that the reclamation should proceed as a means to boost the country’s already weak economy.

Lin said there is limited land remaining in Bayan Lepas, which saw increasing foreign direct investments (FDIs) over the last two years — mainly from the electrical and electronics sector.

“Our Island A (Penang South Islands) is right next to Bayan Lepas. The available land would allow FDIs amounting to RM200 billion to flow into the country over the next 20 years. This will, in turn, create 300,000 new jobs which would be very important for Penang,” he added.

Lin said the Penang state government is looking at several options to start the reclamation project soon.

The Mass Rapid Transit Line 3 (MRT3) project has also been further delayed and is expected to start in 2022, instead of next year.

“We believe that it is quite shovel ready, but the government will still need to get through the stage of getting the MRT3 railway scheme on public display, get it approved, and make the land acquisition,” he said.

He also said the commencement of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-speed Rail will take a slightly longer time as Gamuda awaits further clarification from the government. The group’s total orderbook stands at RM7 billion to date.

Read our earlier report


Proposal on highway concessionaire takeover to be tabled mid-Dec