By Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP Secretary-General and MP for Tanjung, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 21st September 1990:
DAP calls on the Canbinet to explain why it had allowed Syarikat Teratai to mislead it into believing that the KL tolls project is double the actual cost
When the Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, announced the immediate suspension of the Cheras toll collection at the Cabinet meeting on 12th September, he said the Teratai tools project cost $588 million – $300 million for the building of flyovers and the improvement and widening of roads at the nine interchanges and $288 million involved operating cost and payment of interests on loans taken by Teratai for the project.
I have now reliably learnt that Ghafar Baba’s figure of $588 million is double the actual cost of Syarikat Teratai SK Sdn Bhd for the capital costs of the Kuala Lumpur interchanges and roads.
The actual design and construction costs of the Kuala Lumpur interchanges and roads by Syarikat Teratai SK Sdn Bhd is $240 million, and another $56.9 million for operating costs and payments of interests on loans – making a total of $296.9 million.
How did this actual cost of $296.9 million double to $588 million?
What I find shocking is how the Cabinet, with all the expert officials and the entire government behind it, could allow Syarikat Teratai SK Sdn Bhd to mislead it into believing that the KL interchanges and roads is double the actual cost.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba, had said that the Government had been negligent in the study on the Cheras toll while the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, had admitted that the Government had decided on the Cheras tolls on insufficient information.
Now, it would appear that the Government not only did not have sufficient information to decide on the Cheras toll, it also had inadequate information about the actual costs of the Kuala Lumpur interchanges and roads, that the Deputy Prime Minster, Ghafar Baba, and the entire Cabinet could be misled into believing that it is costing Syarikat Teratai double the actual costs.
Is it on this ‘doubling’ of the actual costs that the Government is compensating Syarikat Teratai SK Sdn Bhd at the rate of $100,000 a day for the suspension of the Cheras toll collections?
The Teratai tolls issue is beginning to stink
The government’s handling of the privatization of the Kuala Lumpur interchanges and roads has shattered public confidence that the Barisan Nasional is a clean, efficient and trustworthy government.
A lot of people are not only negligent, but clearly dishonest, in the entire Cheras toll issue. The whole Teratai tolls issue is beginning to stink!
If the Government could be led to make important Cabinet decisions on insufficient or even misleading information, like the Cheras toll rate and the actual Teratai construction costs, how can the people have confidence in the numerous privatization contracts entered into by the Government.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, said in Alor Star yesterday that the Government would offer the country’s toll highways to an Opposition anti-toll committee on condition that they operate these expressways free of charge and maintain them without public funding.
The opposition parties have reached agreement that if they replace the Barisan Nasional government in the next general elections, inner city tolls will be abolished.
The DAP will also have a review of the North-South Highway contract of the United Engineers Malaysia (UEM), for it is clear that the privatization of the North-South Highway was made not with the primary interest of the road-users, but for UMNO to have a new vehicle to create a new corporate empire for the UMNO leaders.
As a result, the privatization of North-South Highway served the UMNO leaders more than the road-users, and this is clearly not in the long-term interests of the people and nation.