DAP Chairman Lim Guan Eng recently made a pledged to abolish all toll charges on the heavily used PLUS North-South Expressway (NSE) if the Pakatan Harapan (PH) party wins the upcoming General Election (GE15) and forms the next Federal Government.
As good as that may be for the people, is there an underlying agenda here? Think about it, the many big salaries in the top management and the thousands of normal employees who work hard to keep the highway in ‘shape’ need to be paid.
At a pre-GE15 campaign dinner in Jelapang, Perak, Guan Eng reminded the public that PH had already reduced toll fees by 18 percent during the 22 months when they were in power and that the party “can abolish tolls” if they simply had five more years in Government.
Guan Eng was also quoted as making a similar pledge in 2017. Fact, removing toll charges will not solve the many issues plaguing our country. It is the theft of billions by crooked politicians that should end and the filling up of our prisons with their families and friends that should be addressed.
This, to me at least, is a common trend among political parties, they say all the sweet words we want to hear then never deliver on said promises.
Now before anyone goes and starts making claims about me being anti-PH or anything like that, think back to a certain pledge to defer PTPTN payments if one earns below RM4,000 a month?
Moreover, this would not be the first time a politician has made bold claims to gain votes, but it will also not be the last time some people fall for these lies. Either way, that is besides the point, as I also believe there is an ulterior motive at play. Aside from just helping the public, of course, this move would also help the government.
Bear with me on this, I know it sounds counter intuitive, but if we just consider the facts about PLUS and tolls in Malaysia, this won’t come across as so outlandish. Now, we all know that PLUS has roughly RM30 billion in debt. What’s more, these debts are the result of loans taken to buy-out PLUS when they were delisted .
That is the reason PLUS needs the money collected from the tolls, so they can use it to repay said loans and issue dividends. So essentially, this would be the strategy PLUS uses to leave that debt unpaid forever so they can just carry on collecting toll money without using any of it to pay off their debts.