Monday, January 5, 2009

Toll Agreements to made public in Malaysia!

Toll agreements made public for the first time

KUALA LUMPUR: There was a mad scramble by reporters at the Works Ministry to view the toll concessionaire agreements made public for the first time on Monday.

On Oct 17 last year, the Cabinet agreed to declassify the concession agreements and the decision was accepted by all the concessionaires except for Maju Expressway Berhad.

On Friday, reporters had been given just a brief one hour to look at the toll agreements.

The toll concession agreements can now be viewed at the library of the Works Ministry but the public is not allowed to make copies of the documents yet.

Only five people are allowed in at any one time.

DAP MPs Tony Pua, Lim Lip Eng and Hannah Yeoh were also at the ministry to view the agreements signed between the toll operators and the government that includes details on how the toll rates are increased.

Highway Authority of Malaysia director-general Datuk Mohamad Razali Othman had said last week that copies could not be made because it needed the Order of the Yang di-Pertuan Agung under Section 3 of the Fees Act (1951) to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat and gazetted.

Section 3 of the Act states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agung may charge and prescribe fees and payments to be leviable in courts and public offices.

In a statement, Razali had said those who wished to view the documents had to fill in a form and were allowed access to the agreements for two hours at a time to give a chance to other applicants to view the concession agreements while cutting down the waiting period.

If they needed more time to review agreements of other toll concessionaires or need more time on one document, the applicants need to fill in a new form and wait for their turn again, he had said.
Source : The star

Finally the toll agreement made public, however left the Maju Expressway who is still reluctant to reveal their contract. For foreign readers, Malaysia is a country with a law such as OSA ( official secret acts )to protect some information deems classified by the goverment from the public. However the move to impose OSA on toll contract attracted controversies issue and anger among Malaysian.

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