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Property News

Highway concessionaires to retain toll collection rights despite MLFF project development, says Nanta

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 7): Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (pictured) has confirmed that existing highway concessionaires will still have the rights to collect toll charges as per agreements with the government that are still in force, despite the development of the multi-lane free-flow (MLFF) project by a private firm.
In a Facebook post, Nanta said he and his team are striving to ensure the seamless execution of the MLFF project, which requires cooperation and support not only from this ministry, but also from the highway concessionaires, and the top management of the unity government.
He noted that although the planning and initial approvals began in 2021, further study and enhancements, especially concerning legislation, are still required to ensure the smooth execution of the MLFF project.
“There is no doubt that the previous government had obtained approval in principle in implementing the MLFF. However, this approval is only to give room for the negotiation process to be carried out between the parties involved in the implementation of the MLFF,” said Nanta.
Nanta’s statement was issued in response to recent reports suggesting the government directly assigned the MLFF scheme to an individual company, which 32 highway toll concessionaires opposed.
The new MLFF system aims to alleviate congestion by turning all entrances and exits on highways into obstruction-free lanes.
A report by The Edge Malaysia weekly, citing sources, stated that the highway concessionaires had pushed back against the MLFF system implementation, as they feel that any solution should come from within the industry.
The system, which is estimated to cost RM3.46 billion to implement across all 33 highways in Malaysia, will centralise the operations, maintenance and collections of all toll booths.
Sources told the financial weekly that the concessionaires were uncomfortable with third parties collecting toll charges on their behalf because there could be leakages, which would affect overall toll collection. Moreover, the concessionaires also raised concerns about the exorbitant cost that they may incur if the private company is to cover any leakages.
The report also said the private company, which proposed the system and is 60%-controlled by a local conglomerate with interests in power, telecommunications and construction businesses, was given approval in principle by Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration. The works minister then was Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, who is now one of the deputy prime ministers.
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Source: EdgeProp.my

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