KUALA LUMPUR: The RM36 billion offer by Maju Holdings Sdn Bhd to take over PLUS highways is certainly a windfall for the country, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
He said all along the government had to pay almost RM900 million to highway concessionaires to ensure the toll rates did not increase.
“Everytime the government announce toll hikes, there will be a big problem. With a proposal like this, the government will be able to save almost RM1 billion and use it to the benefit of the people,” he said.
Nazri said the deal would only bring benefit to the people as the offer also shows that Maju Holdings intends to undertake improvements to the infrastructures such as lighting up the entire highway.
Besides, the offer by Maju Holdings not to raise toll rates for 20 years is a huge gain for the people, he said.
“This is certainly something that the government wants. I strongly welcome this and hope both PLUS highways major shareholders, UEM Group Bhd and Employees Provident Fund, will be able to make this a reality with proper discussions with Maju Holdings,” he said.
Maju Holdings executive chairman Tan Sri Abu Sahid Mohamad had previously made public his intention to acquire PLUS.
The acquisition plan is believed to cost about RM30 billion, involving both the stakes held by UEM and EPF.