Lifting the burden of paying tollsPosted: May 11, 2008
Better late than never
A YEAR ago, it appeared impossible. One excuse was given after another. If we don’t allow the increase, former works minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu said, the government will have to pay millions in compensation. The toll agreements, he said, come under the ambit of the Official Secrets Act (OSA).
On Wednesday, there was an about-turn. His successor Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed ventured to say that all 22 toll agreements will be reviewed to prevent unjustified toll increases. The review will be done over three months, taking into account traffic volume, operational and maintenance costs.
He was quoted as saying that the government understands the burden of the people in having to pay toll. Every right-thinking Malaysian will rejoice, especially with the use of the word “understands”. In the same breath, are we to assume the government did not “understand” the burden a year ago? Was it not aware that the rakyat had to dig deeper into their pockets to pay for lop-sided deals? Did this epiphany come about only after the people spoke through the ballot box? Toll concessions after all were exploited to the hilt by the Opposition during their campaign.
But let’s say: Better late than never. Mohd Zin’s statements both inside and outside the Dewan Rakyat is hopefully an indication of how the government will be dealing with issues affecting the people from now on. The previous minister had the toll increases stuffed down the throats of the people and refused to “understand” the plight of the rakyat.
But don’t celebrate yet. It’s too early. What happens if Mohd Zin, after three months, announces that the increases are justified? It has happened before. That would be an anti-climax!
Original article here.
Toll agreements were under the OSA?!
It’s funny how things are going in U-turns now. Everything that was justified for before the GE2008 is all becoming “wrong” in the eyes of the new Ministers. Hindsight?
I wonder what Samy Vellu thinks of this. The new MInister is basically saying that what Samy did was not in the interest of the people. Mohd Zin is basically saying that Samy was not a very “understanding” guy.
If anyone were to ask him for his opinion on this latest piece of news about toll increases, I wonder what he would say? Would he justify what he did? Or would he do an about turn as well, and agree with what Mohd Zin is doing?