Cabinet says toll agreements to remain secret
sun2surf, S.Tamarai Chelvi and Pauline Puah
KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 25, 2007): The Cabinet is not prepared to make public the toll agreements inked between the government and highway concessionaires, says Works Minister Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu.
"I have also suggested that the Cabinet take appropriate action against the person (or persons) who had stolen and exhibited an agreement. The agreement is solely between the government and the company and it is a secret document," said Samy, adding that he brought up the matter at the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
"It is classified secret ... a restricted document of the government. It has been stolen by some people and we have suggested we are going to ask the Attorney-General's office to take appropriate action against those who stole the document and exhibited it without the authority, and they have to pay for it," Samy said.
Asked whether this was the Cabinet's decision, Samy said: "This is what has been suggested to the Cabinet."
Samy spoke in a press conference today after chairing a MIC central working committee meeting in the MIC headquarters on Jalan Rahmat.
In a press conference early this month, the Coalition Against Toll Hike (Protes) revealed a copy of the agreement between the government and Lingkaran Trans Kota Sdn Bhd (Litrak) to reporters.
Protes also demanded the government to reveal how the government had reached its agreements with other highway concessionaire companies.
In an immediate response, Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua, who is also a Protes member, the Cabinet's decision confirmed what the coalition had said earlier that the content of the contract was unfavourable to the public.
"The government needs to explain how and why this contract had been signed. Instead of being transparent, they (the government) have decided to declare this an Official Secrets Act document.
"It's greatly unfair to the public as they are the ones who pay taxes and tolls," he told theSun.
He said Protes had decided to take the risk before divulging the document in order to tell the public the truth.
"The government is subsidising a big sum of money to the concessionaire companies and these monies come from the public. They've the right to know how the contract was drafted and why the government so willingly accepting terms that clearly disadvantaged tax payers," he added. sun2surf