Thursday, December 14, 2006

Toll up, noise down

News mufflers. There'll be lots of poisonous emission from the people when Samy Vellu announces the increase in toll rates today but the din that they'll created will be greatly muffled, at least in the mainstream media. That's the priority: keep the volume down. The DPM has met editors, also quietly [read here], to brief prepare them for the rough patch ahead.
And a deputy minister - the Singapore media call it "junior" minister - has "leaked" the news to a foreign wire so as to soften the impact of Samy's announcement. Or so it is hoped. [Read the AFP scoop here, Jeff Ooi's perspective here]


  1. Anonymous11:59 am

    This is Abdullah's and the DPM's version of Press Freedom. And the dogs(editors) of these mainstream papers, especially NST and Star, will lick the of the DPM and follow suit.

    Shame on you dogs of journalism.

    The people are the ones to suffer. Hold a general election now and see what happens. People on the ground are frustrated and sick.

    Take home pays are decreasing, expenses increasing. Everything has gone up, from water rates (damn Syabas), electricity rates (damn TNB, petrol prices (damn the govt), and now the toll rates (damn the govt again).

    People, wake up. Vote against the BN. This is what you get for your loyalty.

  2. Anonymous1:29 pm

    This is interesting experiment to me. Given the facts, can the mainstream media spin what is obviously unpleasant news against the new media version?

    Frankly, its not easy to spin this. The preliminary leak that I bet is on purpose. Notice the news 60% hike translate to RM1.60 - giving the worst news first so that the other news will be easier to swallow..

    This also distract from the real problem with the issue - the lack of real public transport alternative and subsidy to Proton.

  3. The government's one and only reason is the so-called 'high' toll subsidy to be paid to the concessionaires of which some are actually GLCs.

    So, they build toll highways with OUR money and CHARGE us for using it. SV has been having this SPV for a very, very long time. Why is nobody asking him to disclose the original proposal made by the concessionaire which include traffic data projections, etc? Don't tell us it is OSA stuff! (RedDotCom jets can't land on our toll highways unless the pilots carry Touch N Go cards. Just kidding, guyz).

    And looks like it will be up to the blogs to criticise yet again, barely 3 weeks after NTR made his condescending 'cakap tak serupa bikin' statement.

  4. Anonymous2:19 pm


    I never did understand two things- increasing toll rates and bloody expensive road taxes for big bikes.

    Hmmm...I hope when the next time I'll be travelling on the North South Highway, it'll be filled with laser lights coupled with silk roads and air freshners with pretty gals lined up every 10 feet waving in bikins saying 'Drive Safely'.

    Otherwise, i'll start using my grandpa's ol reliable Vespa and enjoy the ride instead. Don't need to pay toll and free air-con :P

    p/s: The media has once again been instructed by the government. Maybe for the coming general elections, all would be ministers ought to be supplied with "Governance for Dummies" while editors should be given motivational books like "How to Not Be A Dummy" so that they know their place in society.

  5. undilah parti bebas...

  6. Anonymous3:09 pm

    The Gamuda website states very clearly that 1.7 million vehicles ply the highway daily with 15 busiest toll plazas handling 800,000 tollable vehicles per day.
    This translates to a revenue of 292 million, yet the total revenue for last year was stated at only 245 million and that also on a group basis.

    The Malaysian public should call upon Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam head of Transparancy International to head a task force to investigate and bring out to the open the true facts. Tan Sri Ramon should be quite familiar with the goings on at this company.

    ^This little piece of news popped up on the internet and makes interesting reading. The main beneficiaries are Dato Lin Uun Ling who owns and runs Gamuda and Litrak/LDP.

    The owners of the privatised Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong(LDP), Lingkaran >Trans Kota Holdings Bhd (Litrak),have just announced that their revenue is ,and will continue to be higher then expected.

    It's executive director and substantial shareholder,Dato Lin Yun Ling,has even announced that the company has a surplus of about RM 200 m in cash.

    All this after the Government agreed to pay Litark RM 85 million,at the height of the recession, in "compensation", for revenues lost when the >company agreed not to raise toll rates by RM0.50, as provided in the concession agreement with the Government.

    This "compensation" may sound fair, but one must consider the assistance that the Government has ALREADY provided the company.

    First, there was a RM535 million fixed rate loan from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), for a term of 13 years which even Lin Yun Ling described as "uncommon"; EPF normally lends for only 5-8 years.

    Then,there was a RM98 million loan at concessional rates. The rates >have yet to be disclosed by the Finance Ministry. >On top of all this there is also a RM 100 million grant to pay for land

    Some analysts say that the RM 85 million the Government has given Litrak s actually in excess of the revenue that the company might have lost by its own estimates.

    The main beneficiary of the Government's kindness has been Lin Yun Ling, whose Gamuda Bhd,constructed the LDP in a joint venture with Yusof Daud, for a cost of RM 600 million, or RM 40 million per km. In comparison,the NKVE only cost RM 10 million per km.Lin and Raja Elena of Perak are
    Gamuda's two largest shareholders.

    What are the reasons for such special treatment? Perhaps the answer lies in Litrak's shareholders.

    The largest shareholder is now Gamuda, a company linked with Perak royalty and a number of ex-civil servants. Ministers Napsiah Omar, and Dollah Badawi are also shareholders as is former secretary general of the Treasury , Ramon Navaratnam. Then there is also Institut Kefahaman Islam (IKIM), various state bodies, and even Rating Agency Malaysia.

    Most mysterious of all shareholders is Litrak executive director, Haji Yussof Daud, who controlled , before listing, 51% of the company, via a company with a paid-up capital of only RM 100,000.He now controls about 30%. A more mysterious shareholder is one who controls 600,000 shares via a >dormant, RM 2 company, whose directors are Gamuda finance managers. >They in turn, report to Gamuda and Litrak director Saw Wah Theng. Saw >is an alternate director to Lin on the Litrak board.

  7. Anonymous3:19 pm

    Talking about gagging media..did you see NST's latest advertisment on TV? The one where they got Brian Yap, Syed Nazri and unfortunately Yasmin Ahmad to say a few words.

    p/s: The Star doesn't resort to all this fancy adverts but yet they remain at the top. Hmm...but then again, maybe NST airing on TV3 dapat discount kot?

  8. Anonymous3:28 pm

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Anonymous4:09 pm

    The government is right for once - raising the toll. to those who feel aggrieved, i have one solution - use non-tolled roads and stop griping. if people can splurge on designer handphones and go to the poshest restaurants what is an extra few sen. pse correct me if i am wrong. this is a message to self-serving, dirty, rude, crass, greedy and kiasu malaysians.

  10. Anonymous4:10 pm

    Let's not make any noise, let the government allows the increase, after all they have agreed in the concessionaire's lop sided agreement. Forget about subsidies, the government should not compensate the concessionaires, let it increase, be it 200% or 300%. The money should go to the poors and deserving, and not fattening the profits of the concessionaires already bulging pocket and in this case, will there may be kick backs? Let the rakyat know how stupid the government is, for approving such agreements. Why should the farmers in Kedah be deprived of development fund when the money is being used for compensation payment to the rich? Let the toll increase to its actual value, without any compensation, let the cost of living increase, and come election time, let's get rid of these *motherforgers* from the government.

    I am so pissed that I will vote for PAS. I am a non muslim but I think even if PAS has some backward policies, I have yet seeing PAS screwing its people as what the BN is screwing us everyday.

  11. Anonymous4:39 pm


    You are right! PAS may be termed as "fanatical" when it comes to moral policing but it is done with good intentions!

    Speak to ANY Kelantanese who work/live in Kelantan, and see if there is any complaints from them. Even the non-Muslims have no problem with PAS!

    PAS may sound Islamic, but Islam itself is for everybody. Don't be scared of Islamic state law, for it is made to be fair. Trust me, at least the PAS leaders are afraid of milking the public' money because they know they are answerable to the One, the Ultimate and the above everyone and everything else - Allah. BN can run away fro the people, that's why they are doing things like this. PAS people are Allah-fearing people. Trust me, if PAS leaders screw up (and I bet they won't!), they'd be the first to admit and pay for it. Will BN leaders do that? Yeah, on Judgment Day, they will!

    So my friends, give PAS a chance... You see, they had not neglected the non-Muslims in Kelantan. In fact, neglecting non-Muslim citizens is an act they are afraid to answer to Allah later on...

    No, I am not a PAS member.


  12. Anonymous4:43 pm

    New Designation for our erstwhile minister - YB Minister for Potholes and Misc. Vehicular Deaths.

    too scared to put my name here haha


  13. Anonymous4:48 pm

    So the new rates are out.

    Me? The LDP route now costs me 60 sen more. By the end of Q1 or ealy Q2, the fuel prices will probably go subsidy-less, so more costs there.

    Hang on for the ride...

  14. Anonymous5:03 pm

    Bru and fellows commentators,

    No F word please!

    What can Najib Change-your-lifestyle Razak say? In any case the media don't really care about him.

    His boss does not want budget deficit. So you transfer the cost to the people.

    Also GLCs must make money. They must fulfil their KPI. They can get away with murder because Khairy protects them.

    What is Keris-Wielding Hishammudin Hussein going to say about the suffering of the people when he does not know we are suffering.

    Pak Lah, Najib and Hisham Sir, see you at the ballot box!

  15. Anonymous5:10 pm

    To Nstman..

    Your opinions are valued. However, please do note that not many people out there splurge on fancy phones or restaurants. You may only notice the 'setengah masak' people around you in KL, those who complain no money but always has some new toy to play with. What about those in the rural areas, what about students with low income backgrounds. We have to see this with a broader view and not just with the people we mix with.
    You and I may still be able to utilise the highways, but there'll be a lot more people out there who will start using the trunk roads instead. And the list of more accidents especially during the festive season will bound to add on.

    The picture is bigger than we all think. A chain reaction, raised tolls could amount to further price hikes in goods and the transportation industry.

    p/s: Nstman, this is written with all due respect to your two cents worth. Cheers!

  16. Anonymous6:46 pm


    BN on path to self-destruction.


    i still think this is to solve khairy's money problems, not having a periuk nasi and all.

  17. Anonymous7:22 pm

    Sdr Rocky,

    Saya rasa kenaikan harga barangan sejak kebelakangan ini (termasuklah toll) akan merupakan faktor penghalang paling besar kepada usaha kerajaan membanteras rasuah. Umum mengetahui bahawa gaji kakitangan kerajaan adalah terlalu kecil dan mereka diberikan kuasa yang banyak. Dalam keadaan tertekan, mereka tidak ada pilihan melainkan melacurkan maruah dan harga diri untuk hidup -- mereka meminta dan menerima rasuah. Apa pilihan yang mereka? Adakah mereka sanggup membiarkan anak kelaparan di rumah? Sekiranya kerajaan, benar-benar serious membanteras rasuah, maka ia hendaklah mencari jalan menghalang kenaikan harga barang; sekaligus mengurangkan bebanan hidup rakyat.

    Soal media, sejak Rocky di NST lagi, media massa kita tak pernah bebas. Sejak dulu lagi, NST ada "darling"nya tersendiri. Kalau ngam dgn Editor, dapatlah story muka depan. Kalau tak, cerita mereka dikuburkan. Jadi, pada saya, tak ada apa yang nak dicomplaint. Saya setuju kalau media lebih bebas. Tetapi saya nampak pengamal media yang kini tidak lagi menerajui organisasi media telah "missed the opportunity" to bring about the change. Anyway, tahniah kpd ex-NST yang kini memperjuangan kebebasan media -- walaupun agak terlambat!

  18. Anonymous8:03 pm

    Silence they may, but hate is brewing...

  19. Anonymous9:05 pm

    brother Rocky

    that ducking fella Mr. PM and Mr. DPM both have lost their mind and deserve to be posted into Tanjung Rambutan lah...

    enough nonsense they created... don't they realise that every rakyat in the country are cursing them, the day their eyes open until they asleep.

    i mean if that Mr. PM want to be sleepy while running the country not too bad lah, but squeezing the peoplde blood thru toll hikes, inflation etc... WTF man.

    i think it is about time GOD re-look at the time sheet of these two idiots and whether they deserve to live longer than now.

    and these are Malays, so called - kind and understanding race - what a shame to the people and race!


  20. Anonymous9:13 pm

    to nstman;

    could u please use ur fu*king brains before u vomit anything out. maybe u r not affected by the hike but think about it, transportation of goods such as fresh meat, uses big trucks that will have to resort to using the highway inorder to transport it to the specific destination at the fatest time possibe to maintain its freshness. if the toll increases, these people have no choice but to increase their transportation fees and this will lead to restaurants increasing their prices. this is only one of the examples that will affect not only u but every Malay, Chinese, Indian dan lain-lain. look before u leap, this government is being run by crooks no doubt.

  21. Anonymous9:15 pm

    [rocky's note: originally sent at 3:28pm, mostly in French. It slipped past, lucky Anon]

    Rocky, pardon my French...

    Duck you BN for only thinking of your cronies' pockets.

    Duck you BN for not helping the people have a more quality life.

    Duck you BN for gagging the press.

    Duck you government for allowing your lower-income citizens suffer.

    Duck you cronies for the heavy petting on the BN leaders.

    Duck you highway concessionaires for being a cry baby. Your loss is your own f*cking problem. Nobody said your investment wont go bust.

    Duck you SPR for not allowing a fair election.

  22. Anonymous9:44 pm

    One way to teachs the Goverment and Toll operator how 'ruplous' there are plus those 'crocrodiles out there is to B.O.I.K.O.T.. TOLL AND THE REST. Use public transport ot jalanm kai or naik bicyle or just avoide it. lest say for i wee no vehicle pass thru the tolls. then see what happen. Long Live 'People Power'. Let do it man...

  23. Anonymous9:47 pm

    i have said it once and i am saying it again. If you think the road toll is too steep, dont use it. simple as that. don't bitch about it. that's what typical stupid, idiotic, moronic malaysians like to bitch about things. hey, by the way, poor malaysians don't use swanky highways. it's rich malaysians who use highways.

  24. Anonymous10:59 pm

    I would not mind the toll increase if the concessionaires offer a money back guarantee if there's a traffic snarl due to natural or unnatural causes on their highways. As it is now, I'm paying good money to use their roads but am very often caught in a gridlock due to floods and long queues at the toll booths. Ask any traveller to Malacca on weekends and they will tell you of the notorious PD bottleneck. Try going up north during a public holiday and the situation is the same. The least the concessionaires can do in such instances is to waive the toll altogether or give a substantial rebate.

  25. Anonymous8:46 am

    Only rich Malaysians use highways?Sorry NSTman, your ass polishing skill is too much!It makes you become sooooo stupid.

  26. Anonymous9:26 am

    Damn you, BN!

    I don't drive to work. My house is just behind my office. I earn a good salary. My petrol consumption is low, I drive a Wira. I don't pay toll to go to work. I don't have to pay parking, because I don't drive to work. I have mileage for my salary.

    But just because I am well off, doesn't make me less sensitive to the plight of others. Especially those who earn just enough to get by.

    I am an ordinary citizen with no Dr., Datuk, Tan Sri, Tun or any prefix to my name. But I have a heart for those who have big family, small salary.

    Hey leaders of BN, I will go all out to campaign for the opposition.

    I had voted BN ALL my life. I should've listenend to my parents and voted for the opposition. Sorry mom, sorry dad... My mistake.

  27. Anonymous9:39 am


    How about you NOT bitching about it, just because you don't feel the pinch.

    This space is for those who want to air their grouses the way rocky allows it. If you don't feel what the majority feels, it's only logical, sensible and common sense for you to NOT participate.

    We don't mind opposition in issues like this, but arrogance is just a reflection of their insensitivity.

    You may not feel it now, but when you do one day, please revisit this space and see how WE feel.

  28. Anonymous11:33 am

    "The government is already providing a lot of subsidies to the people..." But the govt is providing even more subsidies (to the sweet tune of RM11 billion) in the form of bail-outs for failed privatised projects! It even has the loose change to donate(!) RM500 million to Cambridge University. Which is more important-- the privated projects or the people? My guess is umno will say the privated projects and to hell with the people.

  29. Anonymous11:35 am

    aduh...tol naik lagi. minyak tak turun jugak. gaji tak naik. abang dah kena buang keja. kakak pulak ambik vss. bapak punya EPF dah nak habis. mak pon dah pandai buget beli ikan, tukar cara hidop katanya, hari-hari makan ikan kembong.

  30. Anonymous2:39 pm

    Don't make nosie on blogs only. If you are not happy, show your unhappiness at the ballot box. This is a democracy. The trouble is many people complain about all kind of things...but most of these buggers are not even registered as voters or don't bother to vote...habis macam mana???

  31. Anonymous2:48 pm

    The issue of politics and business being bed mates is not has existed under all four previous administrations...and will continue to exist because of the structure of our political system and business environment. The actual people whom are to blame are the Malays, especially UMNO members. Only the Malays can put a stop to this if they want to. The question they want to, or are happy with the present scenario, hoping to get some "tempias" benefits. Look hard in the mirror and ask yourself...

  32. Anonymous2:57 pm

    With all the toll increase, that increase, this increase...I hope Umno Youth will throw their tantrums, just like they did at the Umno General Assembly last month. Isn't it time for their "blood to boil" once again to protest the toll hike. Umno Youth, please pick on pertinent issues which really effect the rakyat, not perceived or imagined threats that you use to whack and insult the non-Malays. Wahai pahlawan Pemuda Umno, tunjuklah taring kamu dengan membantah kenaikan kadar tol.

  33. Anonymous3:37 pm

    Anonymous 1135 AM,

    Langit tak selalu mendung... Mungkin ada hikmah di sebaliknya... Elok pun belajar berjimat2... Memanglah parah kena hati2 berbelanja, tapi nak wat camne? Selagi ada BN, selagi ada kroni, selagi ada manusia yg tak jujur, selagi tu lah rakyat merana...

    Tahun depan, kita dah 50 tahun merdeka... tapi nasib kebanyakan rakyat tak berubah mcm zaman 5oan dulu... Kais pagi hutang pagi!

  34. Anonymous4:16 pm

    Gigipalsu has made a good point. But don't expect any tantrums from Umno Youth as some of their leaders also benefit from all these increases. These guys are in Umno just to make money. And when the ordinary Malays start to relise this, the Umno Youth leaders take out their kris and blame the non-Malays as wanting to "mencabar hak kita". Then, all the Malays "are asked to unite to protect our rights". When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

  35. Anonymous5:10 pm

    The problem is this. You don't just pay more toll. You end up paying more for many other things as businessmen will use this toll hike as a reason to increase the price of goods and services, including your fried koay teow. The government cannot do a thing to stop the increase on non-controlled items like mee goreng, tek tarik and so many other items which are not controlled items but vital to the daily needs of the man in the street. Even now, a simple meal for three at a banana leaf restaurant will cost about RM20. What's going to happen? Our salaries have been stagnant for sometime, inflation is increasing. Your money in the bank is actually losing money (negative growth)as the interest rate of 3% is offset by inflation of about 5%. How much more belt tightning can we do? In all fairness, Mahathir should also shoulder some of this blame as all this highway and toll stuff really boom during his time.

  36. Anonymous10:32 pm

    Dear Rocky

    This nstman must be working for Kalimulah or Khairy, the very poor SIL (according to I am in Control PM). SO laet him hail the ABB government for now.

    Wait till the General Elections and nstman will see his bosses Kalimulah and Khairy will be on the run.

  37. Anonymous2:27 am

    For once, put things in their right context or in perspective. you people can buy the best handphone sets for your kids, send them to piano classes, buy them cars, give them handsome pocket money. There are also many who can spend a few hundred ringgit a day entertaining friends at pubs. Now tell me why are you grumbling and griping about paying just a few sen more to get to your destination in quick time. my stupid, idiotic, kiasu, dirty, greedy, crass, crude, vulgar Malaysians, why not ponder for once before letting loose your misguided emotions. You know what, you motherduckers make me puke.

  38. Anonymous8:12 am

    hahaha nstman you're so funny that you make me laugh. so nice to live inside you're own little dream world right? YA everything is fine fine fine, people go pub everyday, send their children to piano class YES malaysian are damn rich that we all drive the best car (proton) in da world. and our gorverment VERY de CLEAN 1. DA best in the world, BN is the BEsT political party in the WORld !! da best .."MALAYSIA CAN" lets all of us be a damn happy malaysian coz we have all the best thing in the world!

  39. Anonymous2:22 am

    Samy Vallu said even with the increases , our toll charges are still the lowest compared to neighbouring countries. He forgot or totally ignore or just plain stupid by not observing neighbouring countries have proven to be more productive and less corruptable counries than Malaysia and the government ministers realises they are elected servants to the public. IN SHORT...OUR MINISTERS ARE ARRAGONT AND HAVE VERY BAD ATTITUDES. THEY NEVER ADMIT THEIR WRONGS OR APOLOGISE TO THE PEOPLE OF MALAYSIA FOE MASSIVE MISMANGEMENTS INCIDENTS YEAR AFTER YEAR; TRULLY ARE PAIN IN THE ARSE TO MOST VOTERS.
    Had we see a real change of attitudes and bad habits...the countrymen of Malaysia will accept the toll raises. Here they do so out of clear mismanagements and coruptions incidents. In this case, this is the after effect of TDM 22 years corruptable mismangement. Samy Vallu need to DEFEND like so many ministers as he is the most ineffeicient and trully thick skinned minister today.It boils down to Pak Lah's leadership. How strong is he to be able to meet changes and replace most corrupted ministers? As he also is applying the defending attitude on the boat matter instead of suing the Turkish newspaper, he is showing signs there is no change at all by UMNO people in charge. To the public, by defending does not make PM a nice considerate leader. Only corrupted leaders talk like that. If he trully want to be "Mr.Clean" he need to behave and talk like LKY of Singapore. What is so hard if he is sincere? Now he has more than 3 years, any minister wants to boycott or resign, he has no more reasons to feel loss without them...or has PM also something to hide and so UMNO corruptions and bad managements will continue? That will be one of the downfall of UMNO for voters to choose in next election.