KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 — The federal government has no intention of taking over existing highway concessionaires to abolish tolls, Works Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said.
He said such takeovers were currently not feasible due to significant financial implications.
However, Nanta said the government would reconsider such a proposal when the nation's finance and fiscal situation permits.
Nanta said this in a written parliamentary reply to Padang Besar MP Rushdan Rusmi, who asked about the Anwar administration’s strategy to eliminate tolled highways.
"For the honourable member’s information, the government is committed and focused in its agenda towards addressing rising cost of living and reducing such burdens on the people.
"However, at this point in time, the government is not planning to take over highway concessionaires who are in operation since the financial implications are high,” the minister said in the reply.
In Pakatan Harapan's 15th general election manifesto, the coalition had pledged to eliminate tolls on the North-South Expressway (PLUS) if it were given the mandate to govern the nation again.
PH is currently part of national unity government comprising all parties in the country except those in the Perikatan Nasional coalition in the Opposition.