Tony Pua: Najib’s statements on new PLUS deal shows, at best, he’s bad at math

Danial Dzulkifly
Tony Pua has lambasted Datuk Seri Najib Razak for his inaccurate assessment that the concessions restructuring of PLUS would end up costing its shareholders some RM68 billion. — Picture by Ham Abu Bakar

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28 — Tony Pua has lambasted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for his inaccurate assessment that the concessions restructuring of PLUS Malaysia Berhad (PLUS) would end up costing its shareholders some RM68 billion.

Pua, who is political secretary to the finance minister, said Najib has yet again provided false information despite the former had corrected him several times before and even stating that the new restructuring deal is a “triple win” for Pakatan Harapan.

The new restructuring process will see the government save up some RM26 billion without paying any compensation to PLUS and another RM42 billion of savings throughout the concession period, which have been extended to 2058 from 2038. Toll rate will also be reduced by 18 per cent and will remain until the end of the concession period.

However, Najib claimed that the combined cost from the savings, RM68 billion, is “the amount of losses incurred by EPF contributors and future toll users during the remaining concessions “in a recent Facebook posting.

Najib was referring to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), who along with Khazanah Nasional Berhad, are shareholders of PLUS.

Pua said that Najib’s calculation by combining both figures are absurd, illogical and baseless.

“Although Najib is also a former minister of finance, he does not know how to count because government savings for the rest of the concessions of RM42 billion concessions include: 

1. Compensation of RM26 billion to be paid by the government if the current toll rate is frozen to the end of the existing concession due to a toll rate of 5 per cent for every 3 years.

2. Additional compensation of RM14 billion to be paid by the government for giving toll discounts of 18per cent on current concession rates.

3.The current debt of RM2 billion that needs to be paid by the government to PLUS.

“Therefore, the RM26 billion and RM42 billion addition by Najib was never raised, illogical and absurd,” Pua said in a statement.

Pua also dismissed that the EPF would incur any losses from the restructuring deal and reiterated that PLUS’ shareholders will be protected.

“Therefore, at best, Najib’s statement is merely a double-counting statement which shows that he is not good at mathematics.

“If not, it is a malicious statement to distort facts in order to mislead the public,” he said.

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