Motorists to save RM5b from ALR toll takeover plan, says Gamuda exec – no toll increase at 4 highways –

Klang Valley motorists could stand to save RM5 billion from the government’s proposal to restructure four toll concessions, which includes the promise of no toll fare hikes for the rest of the concession periods. The four highways are Kesas, Smart Tunnel, Sprint and LDP.

This is according to Gamuda’s deputy group managing director Mohammed Rashdan Mohd Yusof, who hailed the proposition as a win-win for both the people and the government.

He said the Amanat Lebuhraya Rakyat (ALR) – Gamuda deal appears to be the most viable solution to reduce travelling costs for motorists without the government having to pay billions of ringgit in compensation to highway operators when scheduled toll fare hikes don’t happen, Malay Mail reported. Putrajaya will save at least RM4.3 billion this way.

“This valuable savings can then be further spent on other crucial, more urgent development expenditure and basic infrastructure for the wellbeing of Keluarga Malaysia, as the government of Malaysia deems fit — further benefiting the wider rakyat and Keluarga Malaysia, as a whole,” Mohammed Rashdan said on Tuesday.

To those who are claiming that this ALR-Gamuda deal is similar to what was proposed by the Pakatan Harapan government in 2019, Rashdan points out that the key differences are in the price (PH offered RM6.2 billion; ALR’s current offer is for a total enterprise value of RM5.48 billion) and the government’s exposure.

The latter is the more significant, as while ALR’s proposal has no recourse to the government “at all”, the PH-proposal was for the government to directly make the acquisition. “This clearly is very different from the 2019 offer, where the GoM undertook to do the acquisition directly, and have the funding on its own balance sheet,” he noted.

The Gamuda exec also claims that the proposal will also see the shortening of concession periods, as ALR is obligated to redeem its funding (sukuk) as soon as it can, returning ownership of the four highway concessions to the government after.

“In that sense, any extension given to the concessions under ALR is not mutually exclusive from its actual traffic performance. The government should be applauded for this pro-rakyat innovation where the concession can be shortened and most probably will be,” he said, adding that based on traffic projection of a modest 1.7% traffic CAGR growth, public transfer of the concessions will happen by the end of May 2032.

Source: Read Full Article