PETALING JAYA: The Finance Ministry should clarify the details of the tolled highway takeover in Parliament, says MCA deputy Youth chief Tan Chee Hiong.

Tan said that Tony Pua, who is political secretary to the Finance Minister, must explain his earlier statement that the proposed highway takeover will not cost the government anything.

“The Finance Ministry should disclose the details of this transaction and raise the issue in Parliament for the Select Committee to review its advantages, disadvantages, as well as its implications on the people and the nation,” he said.

“While the toll concessionaire buyout itself has been labelled as ‘the government need not pay a single sen’, the rakyat will still have to pay to use these highways,” added Tan.

He said in a statement Tuesday (July 9) that the rakyat has a right to know where the money will be channelled to.

“Which party is the beneficiary? What is the time frame,” said Tan.

Tan said that such an undertaking requires more consideration by different stakeholders instead of just Pua’s views.

He queried if Pua’s earlier statement on the proposed takeover truly cleared up the confusion or added to it.

“When DAP speaks of ‘New Malaysia’, does the bundle also include this kind of unilateral policy?” he asked.

Tan said that previous toll contracts were known to be a “shady business” which Pua had criticised in the past.

He added that Pua needs to prevent such dealings from taking place to assure the public of the credibility of the government.

“Pua claimed that the Finance Ministry will designate a special purpose vehicle to raise the RM6.2bil cost to finance the purchase of the concessionaires and that alongside the proposed congestion fees, the government would not have to fork out a single sen.

“If that is the case, how long more until toll plazas become obsolete? When will Pakatan Harapan’s promise of abolishing tolls come true,” said Tan.

He added that Pua has failed to discuss the implications and risks which are tied to this deal.

“After the concession period, who will be in charge of maintenance and roadworks? What role does the government actually play in this transaction,” he asked.

Pua had on Saturday (July 6) said the government need not fork out a single sen to pay for the acquisition of four highway concessionaires.

He said this is because the RM6.2bil purchase consideration will be financed by the collection of the proposed congestion fees.

The concessionaires are Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), System Penyuraian Trafik KL Barat (Sprint), Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) and the Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel (Smart).

Related stories:

Dr Wee: Why congestion charges when Pakatan promised to do away with tolls?

LGE: Proposed takeover of four highways will see motorists paying less for toll

Dr M: No decision yet by Cabinet on highway takeover