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Many years ago my wife and I were washing the car, which I had purchased recently. An elderly gentleman, a recent arrival from India, commented ‘a new wife will clean and dust and wipe anything and everything she sees, but as she gets older will not even clean her own surroundings’. Nowadays, it is common to say a new broom sweeps well. Such was my reaction when I read that tolls may be lowered. I am happy but may have to wait for another 3 months before anything happens. How could Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed be so cruel and contradictory to the views of his predecessor Samy Vellu, who felt and believed Malaysians enjoyed paying toll. Whatever feelings the people had towards Sam as the Works Minister, one thing remains crystal clear. He was the father of tolls and if not for him, many a toll concessionaire would still be repairing and tarring broken down roads throughout the country. Sam helped them, and now with a clear conscious they can present Sam with a memento of appreciation now that he is not remembered that well. Something to uplift his low spirits and disposition.

This man has suffered. The people have been very unkind and have inhumanely removed Samy’s:

  • Sungei Siput position as MP for over 3 decades
  • exemplar performance at Parliament for the same period
  • importance as an Indian leader for the Indians
  • iron grip of MIC
  • statements do not carry the same weight as before March 8
  • pride, arrogance, and most of all his self-confidence that what he says and does is correct…correct…correct.

Come on dear citizens have a heart.

TOLL rates and highway concession agreements which burden the people are being reviewed in view of the rising cost of living.

Works Minister Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed said a toll review mechanism to gauge traffic volume and toll collected at the 22 highways nationwide could result in lower toll and re-negotiations of the agreements.

If the traffic volume is high, there should not be a need to increase toll rates at any particular route, he said at a press conference at Parliament Lobby yesterday.

Among matters being looked into is the Projek Lebuhraya Utara-Selatan (PLUS) highway concession, where the toll rate hike scheduled for last January has been delayed for a year.

Mohd Zin said parts of the PlUS highway would also be re-designated as “urban link” such as the stretch between Rawang and Nilai and “inter-urban exchange” such as stretches of highways passing within the areas of Ipoh, Seremban and Johor Baru.

“Also being considered is the highway traffic volume, the respective clause in the concession agreement, the toll rates, and the concession period.

“The ministry is also giving a re-look at the (concessionaires’) financing of loans, maintenance and operation (costs).”

Mohd Zin said the review would focus on the revenue from toll collection as against the cost involved in the management and maintenance of the highways.

“And, if this can lead to a reduction of toll rates.”

The New Straits Times Online…..

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