(Petaling Jaya, Monday): The Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said in Sungai Siput yesterday that the new toll rates for the North-South Central Link (Elite Expressway), Shah Alam Expressway and Kulim-Butterworth Expressway, effective on Monday, March 1, will be announced on Wednesday after the Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet has already approved new toll charges for the North-South
Expressway effective from Monday, going up by 0.75 sen a kilometre
which means that motorists would be paying 11.25 sen per kilometre for
use of the expressway compared with 10.5 sen per kilometre at present.
I call on Barisan Nasional Ministers to stand up and be counted at the Wednesday Cabinet to freeze all toll rate increases until a full review of highway privatisation and highway toll rates had be conducted by a Highway Consultative Council.
Yesterday, despite being still in the first week of the Chinese New Year, the fourth nation-wide toll plazas protests against unfair highway privatisation and unfair highway tolls called by the Coalition Against Toll (CAT) was successfully held in various states, namely the Federal Territory, Selangor, Malacca, Johore and Penang.
The Ministers from the various Barisan Nasional component parties should heed the clear and unmistakable voice of the people against unfair highway privatisation and unfair highway tolls.
What the people want to hear after the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday is not the new toll rates for the four expressways effective from next Monday onwards, but a Cabinet decision to freeze all toll rate increases until a full review of highway privatisation and highway toll rates had been conducted by a Highway Consultative Council.
The Coalition Against Toll will meet in Petaling Jaya tonight to decide whether to continue with the Sunday nation-wide toll plazas protests as well as to finalise the programme for the Anti-Toll Protest Public Meeting at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on Monday, March 1, 1999.
The police and the Bukit Jalil Stadium authorities owe the people of Malaysia a full explanation why they are afraid to allow the holding of a Mammoth Anti-Toll Protest Public Rally at the Bukit Jalil Stadium on Friday, February 26, 1999 and had to resort to all sorts of ridiculous reasons to abort the gathering.
The substitute Anti-Toll Protest Public Meeting at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall on March 1 is most symbolic, for it is on that day there would be another round of toll rate increases for four expressways - and Malaysians have all the more reason to specially attend the protest public meeting that night to make clear their opposition and protests at unfair and unconscionable highway tolls and toll rate increases.