Unfair highway tolls: Keng Yaik a great disappointment

Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Penang, Monday): Gerakan President and Primary Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Lim Keng Yaik is a great disappointment when he told the press yesterday that he would not be raising in the Cabinet the issue of unfair highway tolls. (Sin Chew Jit Poh).

Keng Yaik is very quick in  flying the white flag of surrender to the highway toll concession companies, which constitutes a  serious dereliction of duty on his part both as a Minister and political leader for two reasons:

1) It is the Cabinet which had approved the unfair highway tolls and toll increases, especially North-South Expressway and three other expressways after the Chinese New Year from March 1.
2)  Keng Yaik had personally supported the unfair highway privatisation concession of North-South Expressway 12 years ago which has imposed such a great burden and hardship on Malaysians for 30 years.

I received no support or sympathy from Keng Yaik when I was spearheading the opposition against unfair highway privatisation and unfair highway tolls 12 years ago.   For my opposition, I was detained for 18 months for the second time under the Internal Security Act during the Operation Lalang dragnet.

Having been one of the Cabinet Ministers responsible for approving the unfair highway privatisation programme 12 years ago, Keng Yaik cannot now close his eyes and wash his hands to absolve personal responsibility for the calamity he has brought to Malaysians as a result of the unfair highway privatisation programme and unfair highway tolls.

I call on Keng Yaik to make recompense for his misjudgement 12 years ago in giving full support to the unfair highway privatisation programme and to take a stand at the Cabinet meeting on February 24 to freeze the increase in new toll rates until there is a full review of the highway privatisation programme by a Highways Consultative Council.


*Lim Kit Siang - Malaysian Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Democratic Action Party Secretary-General & Member of Parliament for Tanjong