KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 2 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak believes the people can see and feel the efforts and sincerity by the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to ease their financial burden, like through the abolition of four tolls today. He said all the promises and actions by BN were not to win votes, but for the people’s interests.
“Several tolls have been abolished since 2009, including four (tolls), today, and toll rate continues to be controlled although the concession agreement demanded that it be raised, a legacy of one or two former leaders,,” he said on his official blog www.najibrazak.com, today.
Najib said the toll collection at the Batu Tiga and Sungai Rasau toll plazas in Selangor, the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) in Johor and Bukit Kayu Hitam in Kedah was abolished effective today. He said the government would continue to listen to the people’s pulse and to help them with various infrastructure, such as the toll-free Pan Borneo Expressway, rail projects and various incentives, as well as as welfare aid.
Najib said such efforts would be continued by the BN government because it wanted all the people in the country to benefit from the country’s development.
“I still remember the time when I announced this matter (abolishing tolls) when tabling the 2018 Budget. It was noisy, more so with the opposition members busy thinking on how they wanted to exploit the announcement for their political interest. Some say this abolition of tolls is a result of their effort, when in fact it is Umno that that fought for it, together with the BN component parties and government leaders,” he said.
According to Najib, there were also quarters who claimed that the toll concession agreement had expired or that it should have been abolished earlier, when the agreement showed that there were tolls which were abolished 20 years earlier than scheduled. He said there were quarters attempting to worsen the situation by saying that the abolition of the tolls only inconvenience the rakyat.
“Possibly, they did not see the congestion at the toll areas, or they could not count the number of people who could now save in not having to pay toll. This is the opposition in Malaysia. How hypocrite they are. They are also the ones who praise highly and support the Father Of All Tolls, the former leader who made unfair agreement, benefiting some cronies, but a loss and burdening the people,” he said.
The prime minister said the government also had to bear the burden of the toll subsidy, which only benefited certain area and community, when the allocation could be used better for the welfare of the people nationwide. He said it was public knowledge that it was also the opposition which held the shares in several toll concessions.
“In fact, they also want to build a highway with toll in the states under their leadership. Some promised to abolish toll since 2008, but until now the toll is still there. The sweet talk and promises they made to the people are impossible for them to fulfil. All these are just empty talks, not just toll, but not a single populist promise they made to the people is possible for them to implement because the fact being that they have no strong plans to implement them,” he added. — Bernama