Speech (Part II) by Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, at the Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Youth Section Seminar on “North South Highway, can you afford it” held at Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 27.8.1987 at 8 p.m.
Imposition of toll on widened Federal Highway Route II without giving motorists alternative route is unconstitutional in violating Article 9(2) on freedom of movement
The proposed imposition of toll on the widened Federal Highway Route II, without giving motorists alternative route to travel toll-free, is unconstitutional, as it will infringe Article 9(2) of the Malaysian Constitution which guarantees freedom of movement.
Under Article 9(2), there are only circumstances where laws could be passed to restrict freedom of movement, namely “any law relating to the security of the Federation or any part thereof, public order, public health or the punishment of offenders.”
The imposition of toll on widened Federal Highway Route II to enable the UEM to profitably carry out its North-South Highway privatization deal does not come under any one of the circumstances the right of Malaysians to freedom of movement.
This goes against the principle announced by the government itself that motorists would have an alternative route to any tolled highway. Works Minister, Datuk Samy Vellu, re-affirmed this principle in the special briefing he gave to DAP MP in his Ministry on July 16, 1987 on the North-South Highway privatization deal.
The DAP is prepared to go to court to challenge the constitutionality of the imposition of toll on widened Federal Highway Route II without giving motorists an alternative route.
This is not the only objection to the imposition of toll on widened Federal Highway Route II, which is really an old highway being widened from four-lane to six-lane. Other objections are financial and developmental, especially as it will stunt the growth of the Selangor capital, Shah Alam, as well as adjacent areas.
I therefore call on the Works Minister, Datuk Samy Vellu, to respect the constitutional rights of Malaysians, and in particular the people in Klang Valley, to freedom of movement, and abandon the plan to box in Shah Alam and Klang in a tight toll net, where every road user has to play toll with no escape.
The New Klang Valley Expressway can collect toll because it is a new expressway, but the Federal Highway Route II should remain toll free!