PETALING JAYA: The government is thinking of cancelling the proposal to take over four intra-city highways owned by Gamuda Bhd, according to a source in the know.
Speaking to FMT, the source said the Cabinet had agreed to review the plan, which was made by the previous administration.
“It would be a bailout,” said the source. “Why should the government take over an expiring concession?
“Luckily the deal was not concluded by Pakatan Harapan (PH). It was just a couple of people who were pushing for it. I believe the new government is reviewing it with a view to rescinding the previous government’s decision.”
The PH government announced last year that it would take over the Kesas, SPRINT, Litrak and SMART highways for RM6.2 billion.
Last December, it was reported that the deadline to complete negotiations on the acquisition had been extended for a third time to Feb 29.
Several quarters have raised questions on the fate of the takeover since the change of government in February.
Transport consultant Goh Bok Yen told FMT it would be wise for Putrajaya to cancel the plan.
He said the reason for the plan was to fulfil a promise made in the PH election manifesto.
The idea might not have gone through a comprehensive financial assessment when the manifesto was drafted, he added.
Goh said the public had already been paying for the use of the highways for years and it didn’t make sense to spend billions of ringgit to remedy the perceived unfairness of the concession agreements.
“You will not be getting an inch of new roads,” he said. “It won’t improve the transport network and the money just goes to a private organisation.
“The government should let the concessions expire and use the billions to improve the highways or to build alternative roads so consumers have a choice and we can reduce congestion.”