PUTRAJAYA: The government is still considering a proposal by Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd to take over PLUS Malaysia Sdn Bhd's (PLUS) highway.
"If Maju Holdings wants to take over the highway, we will have to look into their proposal first.
"It should have toll, if they want to abolish toll, they can't get back their money (from the highway takeover).
"Their proposal includes reducing toll rates, mend roads and many more.. we are considering everything," Dr Mahathir said during a press conference after the second series of meeting with civil servants, here, today.
Dr Mahathir added that if the government were to abolish tolls, it might have to fork out more money to take over highway concessionaires.
"Now we discovered that.. first thing is; if we do not collect toll, we must buy the highway and it will cost billions of money and we don't have money.
"The other thing is that if we manage to buy, we have to spend money to maintain the toll.
"Problem is that all highways need to be maintained, need to be enlarged sometimes, adding new lanes etc.. So all that cost money.
"So the public must understand the problem that we are facing. No final decision yet. We are still looking at it (the proposal)," he added.
It was reported that the government has a proposal on its table to take over 15 highways, including the North-South Expressway (NSE) operated by PLUS.
The report said that the government would offer to acquire highways owned by PLUS Malaysia Bhd (including the NSE) for RM30.8 billion, highways owned by Projek Lintasan Kota Holdings Sdn Bhd (Prolintas) for RM3.1 billion, Gamuda Bhd for RM5.6 billion and IJM Corp Bhd for RM2.7 billion — with the acquisitions paid via the issuance of debt papers to the concessionaires.