S'pore cars using Causeway may have to help fund new JB road Contract says toll will be levied on vehicles entering Malaysia to pay for new link to North-South highway
By Leslie Lopez, South-east Asia Correspondent
KUALA LUMPUR - THE Malaysian government has awarded a RM1.2 billion (S$500 million) contract for a road on the fringes of Johor Baru to a conglomerate linked to the ruling Umno party, a project analysts say will surely attract close scrutiny because it will be funded by sharply taxing vehicles using the Causeway linking Malaysia and Singapore.
Documents reviewed by The Straits Times show that publicly listed MRCB secured the government project in June last year to build an 8km partially elevated expressway linking the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) at the Causeway with the southernmost end of the North-South Expressway.
The contract, which its promoters say will alleviate congestion in Johor Baru city, also features a potentially controversial 34-year toll concession for MRCB, a diversified investment holding company that has interests in property development, infrastructure and engineering services. Under the contract awarded, tolls would not be levied for users of the proposed dual three-lane carriageway, but rather on all vehicles crossing into Malaysia from the Causeway.
A senior MRCB executive who confirmed the project awarded by the government told The Straits Times that toll collection will begin once the expressway is completed sometime in late 2011.
Based on information contained in an advisory to potential investors for the project, the toll charges will range from RM6.20 for passenger vehicles entering Malaysia to RM12.40 for lorries. The rates will be raised every three years, and will peak at RM14.60 for passenger vehicles and RM29.20 for lorries, the documents showed.
Currently, vehicles using the Causeway pay a nominal fee. Passenger vehicles entering Malaysia are charged a toll of RM2.90, and lorries, RM5.50. The Singapore Government imposes a charge of S$1.20 for passenger vehicles and S$2.60 for lorries. The proposal to impose new toll charges in Johor will hit Singaporeans the most.
The document on the bond issue prepared by MRCB bankers stated that the Causeway currently serves '69 million person trips annually, which is significant compared to the 20 million passengers at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport'. The document issued by CIMB Investment Bank and HSBC Malaysia also stated that about 75 per cent of the passenger cars crossing the Causeway are Singapore-registered vehicles.
It is not clear whether Malaysia's plan to impose toll charges on the Causeway would provoke a similar reaction from Singapore. But in February, Singapore raised rates at the Second Link, which a Land Transport Authority spokesman said were 'pegged to those set by Malaysia'.
The Causeway and the Second Link, which connects Tuas and Johor's Gelang Patah, are the two land links between Malaysia and Singapore. The 1,056m Causeway is the preferred route because it takes vehicles directly into Johor Baru, and the toll charges there are lower compared with those at the Second Link. The heavy traffic is a major cause of congestion in Johor Baru.
But the huge cost of the new elevated expressway to alleviate the situation is raising eyebrows. At a price tag of RM1.2 billion, it will cost roughly RM150 million per kilometre to build, according to bankers and analysts.
And here is the comment by a fellow blogger
Ok, you have read the article. What do you see between the lines?
You may think, 'Well, good---now the Singaporeans are going to help pay for our roads and they should'.
No, no, no---what do you see beyond that? What does the article tell you of what is really happening here (the modus operandi)? I will tell you... It is a scheme on how to become a billionaire.
This is how they work (and for years they have being doing it and we have suffered because of it)......
1) Identify a project, a big project---the bigger the better.
(Penangites, watch out!! Look at your second bridge!!!)
2) Give the project to a crony or cronies, or an UMNO linked company. (we have plenty of examples: Plus highway, Indah Water, Syabas, MAS, submarines, National Service camp, etc. etc.)
(Penangites, watch out again!! Who are the contractors for your second bridge!!!?)
3) Jack up the price. (How many times? 100% 200% 300% -- no problem. It is not their money. Quote: 'At a price tag of RM1.2 billion, it will cost roughly RM150 million per kilometre to build'.)
(Penangites, watch out again!! Look at your second bridge!!! The cost of the Bridge has ballooned from RM2.7bil to RM4.5bil within a year---a 60% increase in less than a year.)
4) Sign a sure win contract (in this case, 34 years toll concession, with toll increase every 3 years---if it fails, don't worry, they will bail you out. eg: MAS, LRT, MISC, etc.) (Penangites, watch out!!! Soon you are going to pay and pay through your noses!!! Do you know the terms of the contract for the 2nd bridge? How much toll you have to pay and for how long?)
5) As long as there is money to be made, why care if the rakyats suffer. (Sound familiar isn't it? The rakyats have been suffering under increasing tolls all over the places, haven't we? Do they care? No, it is under the terms of their SURE WIN contract. The cronies win, UMNO wins, that is good for the govt. Rakyats suffer and sure lose is none of their business. You want to use the bridge or road or water or telephone or electricity or Astro, you pay---the more you pay the better for them. You don't want to use?---also cannot, no alternative. So mati lah, no choice but to empty your pockets.
This is daylight robbery? ... no, no, no, this is services to the rakyats. You cry to your MPs, the MPs say, 'Ya, ya, yah' but close one eye---Ini lah satu project BN lagi.) Aiyoh yo, they become billionaires and the rakyats suffer to pay like shit. You ask, 'Mana boleh?' Why tak boleh? Ini Malaysia lah, semua pun boleh. Semua orang pun tahu---BN boleh!
By the way, did you vote BN on 8th March? If you do, please don't complain, OK? Shut up and just pay and pay, sampai you mati. While they go for posh holidays overseas, you and your family starve. Told you, vote BN and the petrol is going up! Now, about the destruction of a functioning economy.
If the Singaporeans are forced to pay heavy tolls, and their govt also impose a toll on Malaysians crossing over to Singapore, that is DOUBLE TOLL BURDEN for all. You, JB folks, know very well that JB's businesses depend very much upon the Singaporeans to survive. The double tolls will definitely stop them from coming over. So how are your businesses going to survive? How many of you are going to close shop? How many thousands of jobs are going to be lost? As for those staying in JB but have to commute daily to work in Singapore? Go figure out how much you have to pay! Say goodbye to a huge portion of your pay.
Read again: '...the toll charges will range from RM6.20 for passenger vehicles entering Malaysia to RM12.40 for lorries. The rates will be raised every three years, and will peak at RM14.60 for passenger vehicles and RM29.20 for lorries, the documents showed.' That is a sure way to kill many businesses in JB for all your Singaporean patrons will simply stop coming. JB folks, what are your MPs doing for you? Nothing! It took the Singapore Straits Times to expose the folly of such contracts and the modus operandi---our MSM of course, as usual, are keeping quiet (Ini lah satu project BN lagi. Tak boleh lapor, nanti kena). JB folks, you don't even know the contract to fleece you have been signed. Once the roads are built, you can complain all you want, but then it is too late! You can kiss your money goodbye.
Penangites, watch your second bridge's contract and contractors carefully. Be mindful of them. Price already jack up to the moon. I suppose you are going to pay skyhigh toll.
Good luck Malaysia. Good Johoreans. Good Penangites. You need the luck.
By the way, when is Anwar going to be PM? When are we going to stop this Billionaire way of doing business? Over to you, Pakatan. And congratulation to all who voted for Pakatan during the last election. God bless you.
If you want to know more about how to become a billionaire, watch this very funny video at Comedy Court: How to Become a Billionaire.
And today The Sun reported that our second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop explaining why Penang State government need not be consulted on the withdrawal of the monorail and PORR projects from the Ninth Malaysia Plan as it was a federal government project. Arrogant bastard! Typical of BN's dogs attitude cultivated from the cry of ketuanan melayu. Hoi bodoh!! Ini kah ketuanan melayu? Biadap!! Kurang ajar!!
The reason given for the withdrawal of these projects was that the government could use the RM3.5b to help the people. Huh? Excuse mua... help the people? Its more like you all try to kill two bird with one stone. First, you penalised the Pakatan Rakyat ruling government and then use the RM3.5b funds to finance the southern corridor project like the above mentioned project. It is obvious these projects need to move on for all your Corrupted monies to reach your pocket as they have all been marked into the total cost of those projects. Imagine RM150m for a kilometre. How much of this monies goes into all your pocket? On top of that a 34 years concession. Maybe throw in a clause which guarantee a certain amount of profit. If not meet, then the taxpayer will have to pay subsidy to them. Then turn it around and tell the rakyat that the government have to subsidize the company in order for them not to increase the toll. To hell with all you motherfucking bastards!!
First, you corrupt from the start of the project and then you have a yearly consistent flow of money coming from these toll concessionaires. All at the expense of the rakyat. Ya right, may all your ill-gotten monies buy your way straight into the Fury of HELL. Fuck You All Motherfucking SOBs!!