Samy: PM agrees toll concession agreements be made public By Izatun Shari
By Izatun Shari
"I had mentioned it in the Cabinet on Feb 7 and the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) asked me to submit the working paper.
"Now I have already got the approval (to make the agreements public)," he told reporters at the MCA Chinese New Year Open House at Wisma MCA here on Sunday.
Samy Vellu said he had consulted the attorney general on the matter and was now writing to the highway concession companies.
This was because there was a clause stating that the consent of the concessionaires was required before publicising the doocuments.
"Once this is done and the Cabinet approves it, everybody can come and see it. I have the agreements in my office," Samy Vellu added.
Asked when he expected the agreements could be made public, Samy Vellu said :"Wait for the Cabinet to approve it."
It was recently reported that Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said that the Attorney-General's Chamber was studying mounting requests from the public to reveal the contents of highway concession agreements, classified as official secrets, in the wake of the recent steep toll hikes.
Information from such agreements was already made available to investors and bond-holders and earlier four opposition officials had also been investigated under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) over the disclosure of a toll concession agreement.
On the toll rates for Sungair Nyor toll plaza at the Butterworth Outer Ring Road (BORR), Samy Vellu said the rates had yet to be discussed and decided.
He said toll collection at the Sungai Nyior toll booth had been deferred indefinitely following strong public protests in the area while toll collections at two other toll plazas, Prai and Bagan Ajam, along the 12.1km highway would begin on Feb 20.
"There is a slight misunderstanding. The stretch (Sungai Nyior) was constructed about six years ago. It is part of the highway. The people were then allowed to use it and said that it's an old road."