KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 27): Putrajaya's decision to freeze toll hikes for highways across the country as well as the abolition of motorcycle tolls beginning 2019 is set to cost the government RM994.43 million.
In a statement today, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that on Dec 12, the Cabinet decided to freeze all toll rate hikes for all vehicle classes on 21 highways across the country that are eligible for an increase in 2019.
He said this was a marked enhancement from the Budget 2019 announcement made on Nov 2, which froze all toll hikes next year for intra-city tolls only.
Lim said the comprehensive toll hike freeze was for 21 highways across the country for 2019, while the toll hike freeze for buses was on eight additional highways, along with the abolition of motorcycle tolls for the Penang Bridge (First Penang Bridge), the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah Bridge (Second Penang Bridge) and the Second Link in Johor beginning Jan 1 next year.
He said the comprehensive toll hike freeze is an ongoing effort by the Pakatan Harapan-led Federal Government to alleviate the burden of rising living costs borne by all Malaysians.
"The toll hike freeze for all vehicle classes on 21 highways will incur the government an estimated RM972.75 million in compensation payments to the relevant highway toll concessionaires for 2019," said Lim.
He said that additionally, the Cabinet has agreed to freeze toll hikes for buses with an estimated cost of RM1.68 million on eight separate highways.
Lim said that as announced in the tabling of Budget 2019, the government will abolish toll for motorcyclists travelling through the First and Second Penang Bridges, as well as through the Second Link in Johor.
Lim said this measure will cost the government about RM20 million per annum in compensation payments effective Jan 1.
"The government is currently studying the best method to fulfil its General Election manifesto promise as stated in the Buku Harapan.
"The toll hike freeze is part of these efforts," he said.