(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): A parliamentary answer revealed that the concessionaire of Jalan Kuching toll, Kamunting Corporation Bhd. netted RM183 million as toll for the nine-year concession at Jalan Kuching from 1988-1996 in return for a RM60 million investment.
It is most shocking that after making such a colossal profit, Kamunting Corporation Bhd. is allowed to continue to collect the 50-sen toll for another seven years until 2,003 although the nine-year concession expired on July 8, 1996, which will net Kamunting Corporation Bhd. another RM250 million, or more than its total toll revenue in the first nine-year concession.
Motorists and the Malaysian public are entitled to know why Kamunting Corporation had not surrendered Jalan Kuching to the government to make it toll-free when the nine-year concession expired on January 8, 1996, and to all the facts and background behind the seven-year extension of the concession to Kamunting.
The Jalan Kuching toll is another classic example that in the highway privatisation programme, the Ministry of Works and the Malaysian Highways Authority seem to be more concerned about the profits of the private toll operators than justice to the motorists and the general public.
I am surprised that the Gerakan President and Minister for Primary Industries, Datuk Dr. Lim Keng Yaik is so quiet about the Jalan Kuching toll injustice. I call on him to raise the subject in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday and re-open and review the issue.
The Coalition Against Toll (CAT) will hold its third meeting in Petaling Jaya next Tuesday at 8 p.m. which will review the second nation-wide toll plazas protest tomorrow and the focus on the injustice on the extension of the Jalan Kuching toll concession.