Jan 4, 2007

Toll agreement: Secret document revealed

So the X-File is leaked...

(MalaysiaKini)The opposition today charged that the agreement between the government and Litrak - the concessionaire for the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP) highway - was clearly “lopsided and not done in the best interest of the people”.

The agreement was drafted in such a way that it gives the government very little power but turns Litrak into a money-making machine, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) information chief Tian Chua told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

According to a secret document revealed by Chua, it allows the concessionaire to continue collecting toll irrespective of whether the company is reaping profits or making losses. [view video here]

“The government has very little power under the agreement. The concessionaire can continue to collect toll irregardless of how much collection it has made.

“This is very different from the old concept of privatisation where the concessionaire was allowed to make certain collections over a stipulated period. After that, the toll gates should be closed down and the concession should be handed back to the government,” he added.

Chua said that the 200-page agreement signed on April 23, 1996, between the government and Litrak.

DAP leader Ronnie Liu who was also present said the Umno-linked Litrak had recovered its highway construction cost three years after it started operation and recording profits from 2002 onwards.

According to Litrak’s 2006 annual report, the company had set a new record after collecting RM243 million revenue for its financial year ending on March 31, 2006 while recording a net profit of RM80 million.

Fixed Toll Rates

Meanwhile, Chua accused the government of “lying” when it said that it was negotiating with the concessionaire to reduce the toll rates as the rates have been fixed under the agreement for the entire concession period of over 30 years from 1998.

For instance, under the agreed toll payment schedule, Class 1 vehicle (passenger car) using the LDP will have to pay RM1.50 from year 1998 to 2006, RM2.10 from year 2007 to 2015 and RM3.10 for the year 2016 to the end of the concession period.

The PKR leader said the way the costing was done was not transparent and it was also not explained.

“There is no room for adjustment in this agreement. This is another government contract which does not benefit the public,” stressed Chua, adding he believed that other highway concession agreements are similar to the Litrak agreement that he has obtained.

He urged the government to immediately disclose the remaining concession agreements for public scrutiny in order to convince the people that the government has striked a ‘good deal’ with all the highway concessionaires.

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