KUALA LUMPUR (Sin Chew Daily/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has said that all toll gates along Malaysia's North-South Expressway would be closed if opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election.
He said the construction cost had already been paid for many years now, and the public could not accept or understand why the federal government still allows the highway concessionaire to continue collecting tolls for the North-South Expressway and the first Penang Bridge.
"What I don't understand why toll must be paid on the North-South highway and the first Penang bridge when the construction costs have been reimbursed," the Malay Mail Online quoted him as telling reporters at a press conference at the Parliament lobby.
"By right, no one should pay the toll. If there is a change in government, the new government would abolish the north south toll."
The Democratic Action Party chief also said that it was unjustified to claim that the toll collections was needed by highway operator Projek Lebuhraya Usaha Sama Berhad (Plus Bhd) to maintain the network, according to the Malay Mail Online.
He added that maintainence could be funded via the revenue from road tax.
"If they still have not got back their investment and need to continue collecting tolls, that we can understand. But PLUS has had their construction cost paid for long ago and motorists still have to pay the tolls today. The same goes for Penang Bridge."
"They are collecting tolls to look after the cronies. It is more important than looking after the people," Mr Lim was quoted by the Malay Mail Online as saying.