(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): The Coalition Against Toll (CAT) at its second meeting in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday has decided on a second series of action against unfair highway privatisation concessions and unfair highway tolls.
The first series of action is the Sunday nation-wide toll plazas protests, the first held last Sunday and the second next Sunday, to send a clear and unmistakable message to the government that the Malaysian people demand justice, accountability and transparency in the highway privatisation programme by way of full disclosure of all highway privatisation concessions, review of all unfair highway tolls and public participation and consultation in all privatised highway projects.
This is why CAT is demanding the establishment of a Highways Consultative Council where there is a forum where public complaints and grievances about unfair highway privatisation and unfair highway tolls could be addressed.
The Jalan Kuching toll, for instance, is one of the worst examples of lack of justice, accountability and transparency in the highway privatisation programme, and highlights the full legitimacy of the CAT demand that the toll operator, Kamunting Corporation Bhd should surrender Jalan Kuching back to the government so that Jalan Kuching become toll-free! Kamunting had continued to collect the 50-sen toll at Jalan Kuching although its nine-year concession had expired in January 1996 and no road upgrading works had been done in the past three years to relieve the traffic congestions which motorists had to suffer when paying the 50-sen toll.
This is why CAT has decided to make the Jalan Kuching toll concession as one of the focus of Sunday’s nation-wide toll plazas protests.
The second series of action decided by CAT to oppose unfair highway privatisation and unfair highway tolls is to organise a nation-wide series of anti-toll protest meetings, starting in Kuala Lumpur later this month, and to be followed by each state in the country.