by S BIRRUNTHA / pic by TMR FILE
GAMUDA Bhd said it is still considering and deliberating the offer from Amanat Lebuhraya Rakyat’s (ALR) bid to take over four highway toll concessionaires in the Klang Valley.
The group will announce its decision on the offer immediately after the group’s board has made a decision on it, Gamuda said in a filing to Bursa Malaysia yesterday.
“The toll industry has been in a quagmire for quite some time to find a suitable solution to alleviate the Malaysian government from their burden of paying toll subsidy annually, which Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof had mentioned previously on April 30 last year to be RM2.25 billion for 2021 alone (for the entire industry).
“And yet, with the government being responsible to always ensure sanctity of contracts as well as the government not wanting to burden the motoring rakyat with any toll rate hikes either (which is the obvious solution to reduce or eliminate the toll compensation subsidy), thus solving this quagmire has been very difficult indeed. Up until yesterday that is,” it noted.
Gamuda said as of April 4, with ALR’s proposed solution and offer – this quagmire seems to have been resolved.
It added that with their proposed structure, both the rakyat and the government wins since ALR’s concession toll rate would be maintained at the present rate until the end of concession, that is, no more toll hikes – significantly benefiting the motoring rakyat.
“For example; KESAS users only pay RM2 instead of RM3 at each of the toll plazas. Saving RM1 or 50% savings. Similarly, SPRINT (Pantai) user only pays RM2.50 instead of RM4.50; a saving of RM2 or 80% savings.
“Hence, in this manner – the motoring rakyat also saves RM5 billion directly (which is the same gross compensation savings saved by the government to keep the tolls subsidised at artificially low rates),” it noted.
Meanwhile, Gamuda also said the government no longer needs to pay any toll compensation subsidy either, since ALR’s new concession rate is equal to the present toll rate – thus saving the government RM4.3 billion (net of tax waiver) as reported by the Works Minister.
It also added that this valuable savings can then be further spent on other crucial, more urgent development expenditure and basic infrastructure for the wellbeing of Keluarga Malaysia, as the government deems fit – further benefiting the wider rakyat and Keluarga Malaysia, as a whole.
“The other observation we would like to make with respect to ALR’s proposal, is the comparison with the last offer we received in 2019 from the government itself, as much has been said about the apparent similarity between the two,” the group said.
“We also believe the other concessionaires should also answer the Works Minister’s clarion call to do similar restructurings to ease the government’s burden on compensation payments whilst not burdening the motorists of Keluarga Malaysia,” Gamuda said.