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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Repackaging the Malaysian road toll system


The Pakatan Harapan government is currently looking into getting rid of tolls on Malaysian highways in order to fulfil one of their pre-election promises.
May I suggest that the government firstly transfer the responsibility of maintaining all tolled and other federal highways to the Malaysian Highway Authority and all other roads to the respective state JKRs (Public Works Departments)?
They should be strictly required to call open tenders for all works be they for maintenance, upgrading or whatever.
To finance the cost of maintenance and upgrading, we should add a cess or maintenance levy to all diesel and petrol sales at petrol stations.
This cess or levy will, therefore, be collected by the petrol companies and paid monthly to the government for distribution to the highway authority and the JKRs.
The amount payable to them could be based on ringgit per square meter of paved road of various grades under their jurisdiction.
This will do away with all the toll plazas and the manpower required to carry out toll collections and that will be huge savings. It will also reduce traffic congestion due to bottlenecks at the toll plazas.
It will also be a very equitable form of charging for the use of the roads whereby the driver of a Perodua Kancil will be paying much less than the driver of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
Open tenders and the doing away the with “sub-sub-sub” practice of sub-contracting can mean savings as high as 40 percent on the cost of maintenance and upgrading our highways. - Mkini

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