: The first day of the implementation of the new toll rates at 18 highways throughout the nation was met with grouses and disgruntled road users.
A survey by Astro AWANI at a toll plaza in Kuala Lumpur found many road users
complaining about the hike, saying that the new rates would be a burden for them.
The toll rate increase of between 10 sen to RM3 is said to increase their monthly expenditure of up to RM100, those interviewed said.
Protesting the hike on Wednesday, DAPSY organised a demonstration at Sunway Toll Plaza
, near the Damansara-Puchong highway.
As many as 50 participants gathered there, carrying placards and inviting other road users to honk in support of the protest.
Puchong MP Gobind Singh who was present said the toll hike was a burden especially for the people in Puchong.
“We, the people in Puchong are the most affected as we are surrounded by highways," he told reporters.
Meanwhile, the Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali said
the Federal government should use the Goods and Service Tax (GST) revenue to pay highway concessionaires to avoid the hikes.
He said by doing so the companies need not raise their toll rates.
The state government had also summoned Perbadanan Kemajuan Negeri Selangor
(PKNS) and Kumpulan Perangsang (KPS) to brief the toll hike to the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES).
PKNS holds 30 percent of the KESAS highway while KPS owns 20 percent interest in the SPRINT and LDP highways.
Beginning October 15, 2015, 18 highway concessionaires nationwide will impose new toll rates, with increases of between 10 sen and RM3.
The new rates will involve the Kajang Ring Road (SILK), SMART Highway, Highway Maju Expressway (MEX), Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE), KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR), New Pantai Expressway (NPE), Sungai Besi Expressway (BESRAYA), Ampang Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH), Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway (LKSA) and Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway (KLK), Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), Kajang–Seremban Highway (LEKAS), Senai–Desaru Expressway, SPRINT Highway, the Cheras-Kajang Highway (Grand Saga), the South Klang Valley Expressway (SKVE) and the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (LLB).
Following shows the increase each toll will face beginning this Thursday.
The Works Ministry in a statement on Monday said that the toll rate adjustments only involve highways in the city.
The last toll hike was on March 1, 2009, involving the North-South Highway (PLUS), SPRINT Highway, AKLEH, BESRAYA and NPE with no increase involving other toll concession companies since 2008.
Following the announcement, Astro AWANI did a survey to get the reactions of road users on the matter.
Many were of the opinion that with the high cost of living, the increase in toll rates will only further burden the people.
The government is also urged to temporarily postpone the increase in toll rates and to review the sensibility of the move based on the country’s current economic situation.
According to the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) secretary general Datuk Maamor Osman, the increase should be postponed as even the slightest hike would psychologically effect road users.
Apart from that, he also did not refute the possibility of an increase in the prices of goods in the near future.
The same recommendation was also given by the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA) which is of the opinion that the government should give priority in providing a proper public transportation before increasing the toll rates.
It’s secretary general Datuk Paul Selva Raj said that the people are looking forward to a better quality in life following the announcement of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and not an additional burden.