Sunday, October 31, 2010

No Hike in Tolls

If you can recall Najib’s 2011 Budget, we were told that there will be no hike in tolls for PLUS highways for the next 5 years. Actually, Malaysians should not be so happy about it – lest others think that we are not only gullible but also imbecilic. Well, I read somewhere that the PLUS folks have revealed that the five year postponement of toll hikes simply means that the Government has to pay PLUS RM5.0 billion compensation. And plus the RM2.5 billion unpaid compensation still owing to PLUS by the Government, totaling RM7.5 billion of taxpayers’ funds that PLUS benefits from an over-generous government that you and I know is plainly moronic. Jadi apa beza sangat? So what’s the difference?

On Thursday, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua had pointed that the concession agreement with PLUS allowed the operator to raise toll rates by 10 per cent every three years. Failing which, the agreement, which expires in 2038, states that the government would have to compensate the firm. Last year, Pua had also pointed out that government compensation to PLUS was RM850 million! (The Malaysian Insider, posted October 15, 2010). Wow, that IS a HUGE amount of money!

I can see the pure relief on Arsene Wenger's face when his team finally managed to score a solitary goal to seal Arsenal's win against West Ham. The Gunners nearly had to settle for a draw as Hammers goalie, Robert Green pulled off a series of brilliant stops to thwart Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott, while Samir Nasri rattled the crossbar and Walcott saw a shot come back off the post. But Arsenal persisted and they eventually broke West Ham's resilience when Alex Song met Gael Clichy's floated cross with a diving header (88).

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