(Kuala Lumpur, Monday): My friend MGG Pillai today posted on the Internet several questions about the accountability, transparency and profitability of the North-South Expressway concession, and Renong, UEM and PLUS should give satisfactory answers to them.
"PLUS announced recently that 93 per cent of its toll collections go towards interest payments and the other seven per cent to salaries. PLUS's parent, UEM, whose executive chairman is Tan Sri Halim Saad, strains under this mountain of debt through mismanagement to ensure more formal links with Renong. But if the PLUS plaint is justifiable, a few questions need be asked: why did UEM pay six months' bonus to its staff last year if it was operating in debt? why is holiday pay for PLUS workers even now five times more than the daily rate? how was the UEM chairman paid so much money that he could afford two executive jets and have enough funds left over for a RM300 million divorce settlement? why did Renong utilise the RM2,000 million interest-free loan (and payable when able) to buy up five listed companies, instead of using the loan for its operational needs?"
If Renong, UEM and PLUS do not answer these Internet questions posted by MGG Pillai, then they will be put to the Works Minister, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu when Parliament reconvenes early next month.