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Sakmongkol ak 47

Wednesday 2 June 2010

Asas Serba and its toll


In contrast to Asas Serba's RM50 billion bid, government think tank Pemandu, as part of its subsidy rationalisation exercise, estimated that it will cost the government RM383 billion to nationalise the 23 toll concessions.

Pemandu as part of its subsidy rationalistion proposal is recommending that rates be allowed to rise for toll roads that do not have alternatives in order to save the government as much as RM3.7 billion in subsidies over the next five years.

I don't think managing the 23 toll concessions in Malaysia is a rocket science. Before any of these companies presently operating the toll concessions came into being, they were little known and didn't have experience in operating toll concessions.

What so difficult? Asas Serba or whoever buys over the 23 toll concessions at RM 50 billion of whatever price can always call in expatriate workers to manage the whole thing for a number of years. Maybe some good work ethics can be cultivated within our workforce here. If you can pay RM 50 billion, you can pay specialist good salaries.

I want to ask this question. Here is a deal that could save the government billions of Ringgit and toll rates not raised for a number of years- meaning something good for the government and something good for the public. What's the objection? Oh… because these people behind Asas Serba are alleged to be connected to Tun Daim?

Come on..Since when do some people who got good business deals not connected to someone in Malaysia?

What's the alternative? The alternative is for the government to raise the toll rates and maybe later, bail some of these concessionaires. I think it's time for us to realise that the strategy of bailing out failing companies with taxpayers money is a stupid strategy. The better strategy is to allow other private companies to take over and show they can manage better.

But I want the public to be aware of a more sinister scenario behind the numbers brought up by Asas Serba and the minister who says he is not a politician. If he is not then why does he accept the post? The government says they need RM 383 billion. Asas Serba says it can do the job with RM 50 billion. Which figure is true?

What does the difference between 383 and 50 billion represents? Tell me. I shall answer. That figure represents the level of profiteering, corruption, over charges and other financial legerdemain that is taking place and perpetrated by the various levels of decision makers.

These levels of internal haemorrhaging that allow some retired KSUs and TKSUs and SUBs receiving handsome ex gratia payments upon retirement.


Anonymous,  2 June 2010 at 13:09  

You make it sound like the gomen won't have to bail Asas Serba out later. Sure or not?

If you look at the gomen's numbers, the initial buyout price is more or less the same as what Asas Serba propose. The rest of the gomen's figure is probably what it would cost to eventually phase out the tolls altogether.

With Asas Serba, sure we pay less for a while, but then? We're stuck paying tolls for a long time. After 38 years, who says they won't raise the toll fees way up? But that's only if they make it 38 years without needing a bailout. It's not like all the highways are making money right now, even.

Or will Asas Serba lose interest in the smaller companies (the ones losing money) and just focus on PLUS? Just wait and see. I wouldn't be surprised. Right now I'll only be surprised if the gomen actually agrees to the proposal!


Anonymous,  2 June 2010 at 13:18  

Are you saying Sakmongkol supports corruption, cronyism and nepotism???

Ariff Sabri 2 June 2010 at 13:33  

why bail out? i have said baling out is a stupid strategy. if it fails let another private co buy it out?
toll concessions are not perpetual. they have to end. after 38 years, you mean there will ne no maintenance work?

dont support corruption. but are you supporting that level of profiteering and blood sucking?

Anonymous,  2 June 2010 at 13:40  

You said "The better strategy is to allow other private companies to take over and show they can manage better." The way I see it, the existing companies (with the exception of a couple) are managing it well. So why not Asas Serba just take over those that are not doing well? Why does Asas Serba needs to take over all? You make it all sound so simple but you failed to address the depth of the issue. It's just so typical of Malaysians, wanting things to be so easy without wanting to pay the price. And when the country goes bankrupt, you guys blame the childish and immature!

Donplaypuks® 2 June 2010 at 13:53  

The Govt and Rakyat, through Khazanah, PNB, EPF etc. own 84% of PLUS.

So, to start with they can force toll rate cuts of 20%-50%, freeze it there and draw back concession period in PLUS, the main toll operator by a long, long way, without forking out a single cent from the Treasury!!

They don't have to buy out the minority 16% since they have Equity AND Management control!!

Much of this lying and self-serving $383 billion valuation by first that mf Samy Velu and now Jala and Najib are based on the built in croney favoured clauses for increase in toll rates or Govt compensation and concession periods. Re-structure these on fair basis and the valuations will come down to the $50 billion Asas Serba says is enough to take over these companies.

Remember, AS does not need to buy 100%, only under 33 1/3 % for control or 51% with a waiver from the Govt for mandatory buy-out of the balance of 49%!!

AS recognises there is a huge adipose (fat layer) in the 23 tollcos that even after massive cuts in toll and concession periods, there are huge profits to be made both in the short and long term.

Don't forget that PLUS and most of these tollcos have land banks which came from excess land acquired and not utilised yet for highway expansion or other development!!

The same applies to IPP's and Water Cos.

Proof? Do you see the tollcos or IPP etc rushing out to sell their concessions?

We have been raped, plundered, pillaged and extorted enough by Govt and its croneys. It's time for people action to benefit consumers!!

we are all of 1 race, the HUman Race

Ariff Sabri 2 June 2010 at 13:57  


agree. that 383 billion is highway robbery!. the toll concessionaires support hordes of rent seekers mostly from that famous MCgaygay. AS does not have to buy 100% indeed.

Greenbottle 2 June 2010 at 14:05  

two things;

1) in recent years I've travelled by road all over Thailand from Bangkok up to chiang Mai and to mae sai/myanma border and towards the eastern side up to nongkhai at the laotian border. Most parts of the journey were on good highway/expressway and NONE have tolls. Thailand has road tolls only within bangkok area....May be malaysian politicians can learn something or two while visiting bangkok (apart from whoring around)...

2) isn't giving concession to a SINGLE entity against anti trust laws? any form of monopoly is bad news. and i'm surprised that this is considered legal?...or even being considered!

Donplaypuks® 2 June 2010 at 14:08  


My point is there is no need for the Govt to create a tollco monopoly in the form od Asas Serba.

But AS's proposal shows the tollcos are indulging in profiteering which no Govt should allow!!

The Govt has sufficient equity, management and other clout to re-structure and freeze the toll rates, reduced concession periods and remove the compensation clauses without coming out with a single cent!

If they don't do it NOW, it means that Najib's 1 M'sia is a formula for endemic corruption, croneyism and economic looting!!

we are all of1 race, the Human Race

ML,  2 June 2010 at 14:21  

agree with ASW, just wonder Asas Serba is target ALL toll concessionaires or just PLUS whose make profit every year...

Furthermore, until now Asas Serba do not have past track record and even we are not sure their financial background, how could we pass all the toll to UNKNOWN company.

it will encourage "patronage" and will create another rent-seeking and patronage phenomena as mentioned by Tony Pua...

Malaysian First,  2 June 2010 at 15:05  

"What's the alternative? The alternative is for the government to raise the toll rates and maybe later, bail some of these concessionaires. "

No my dear, the alternative is to open it to all to bid with consideration to both price, ability and other conditions if any which should not be how strong a string can one pull and if possibile also not restricted to only Malay

Navi 2 June 2010 at 15:44  

The figure of RM383Billion quoted by the government is utter rubbish. For that kind of money, the government can build alternate highways parallel to the existing one and allow toll free access to the public.
The government should be able to buy controlling stake in all the concessionaires for less than RM50 billion.(refer dpp)
As long as self interest supersedes the interest of the majority, the majority will have to continue paying toll in excess of what its worth.
I pay RM4.20 every morning to be stuck in a jam.

Ir. Hanafi Ali 2 June 2010 at 15:59  

Dato. You forgot SOBs. Sons of Bitches.


Donplaypuks® 2 June 2010 at 17:18  

ASW, ML etc

What track record did Daim and Halim Saad, a raw accountant qualified from NZ have when the Mahathir gifted Renong/UEM the NS highway contract costing a record in 1987 for Govt of $800 milliion?

You make it sound like managing a tollco is rocket science. Most of the planning and maintenance work is managed by civil engineers and actual roadworks etc. sub-contacted out.

The top spends most of its time time managing the EPU, Minister and PM for subsidised finanace, auto toll increases, jambu compensation and buy-back clauses where they fail, how to get away with minimal work but lobby for maximum increase in toll concession works and how to make it difficult for motorists to find easily accessed alternative non-toll routes.

Don't believe it? Look at what happened with the Grand Saga episode!!

So, AS which is led by a forner Transport Ministry guys knows the ropes and can manage it for far less than we have been ripped off for the last 20 years.

I am not in favour of AS's proposal for a monopoly. The Govt's PWD and Highways Dept have had the experience all these years to manage the toll roads at a fraction of the cost of croney tollco operators.

Proof? Why do you think they have a clause in these concession agreements requiring the approval of the Tollco to reveal details of a public works contract to the public??!! Why did Samy Velu bend over backwards to make sure we do not get to know the details even though AAB gave him the

we are all of 1 race, the Human Race

dua sen,  2 June 2010 at 19:38  

Why should we put more money in DAIM's pocket when he doesn't need a DIME ? (any other party for that matter)

Why not asked EPF to takeover which will give better returns to 12m EPF members ?

To me it is either nationalisation or EPF to take it private. As for the valuation, just hire any big four accounting firms get the correct valuation. No need the middle men crap !

Anonymous,  2 June 2010 at 20:12  

Why do they need Govt's approval?Most of the toll hiways owned/are PLC..just make a takeover bid..general offer.Thats transparency la..

Btw..u got to check out the mess Khazanah got into cos of Pantai..somebody hv to answer.

Anonymous,  2 June 2010 at 20:50  

If you absolutely sure that the 383 billion figure is a comic caper and the present tollcos involved in profitering,then be the TRUE SAKMONGKOL! go lodge a police report or see the MACC guys.Berani kerana Benar!
Action speaks louder than words.

Quiet Despair,  2 June 2010 at 21:27  

If it's Daim and Halim Saad's company, consider it a done deal.
They are back in the limelight yeah.
Re-asserting their prescence in Malaysia after forays overseas including Africa and Sri Lanka

Ariff Sabri 2 June 2010 at 21:34  

anon 15:05

excuse me.. thats the alternative i dont want to see happen.
we dont want th egovernment to raise taxes and justify spending 383billion

this whole business becomes an open bid, when other interested parties present their own proposals to the government.

dua sen,  2 June 2010 at 22:59  

"I don't think managing the 23 toll concessions in Malaysia is a rocket science."

The subsidy on 'toll users' is just a lame excuse. A prudent govt would do the following :-
1) raise sovereign bond whilst the rating is still favourable
2) nationalise all the toll concessions.
3) revenue collected should be channeled to 'special transport fund'
4) maintenance of toll roads should be open tender to get the best rate
5) automated payment system using toll gantry should be deployed to reduce operating cost unless the intention of using toll booth collection is to create employment. I suspected it's the latter, in which case we can redeployed to do higher skill functions and hence, earning higher income.
6) revenue collected should be used :-
a) retire loan
b) maintenance of road & facilities
c) earmark funding for improvement of other public transportation such as bus, mass rail transit, etc
d) earmark funding for improvement of highly congested road

The main purpose is to meet the public expectation and also, to facilitate the nation towards a high income society. Indirectly, it will improve the nation's productivity and competitiveness.

If ASAS SERBA or whovever is keen to do national service, please start a new highway and not taking the easy way out picking the low hanging fruit. And of course, no more one sided concessionaire agreement favouring the private entity created by .... To allow ASAS SERBA to take over is double daylight robbery !

Anonymous,  3 June 2010 at 07:39  

Salam Dato, Saya baca beberapa siri tajuk yg dato nukilkan yg amat menarik dan sahih. Cerita Asas Serba, Ibrahim Ali, Amirsham, Idris Jala mengenai konsessi/kenaikan tol, NEM, Subsidi, lesen KTM dan finger2 sepatutnya amat merisaukan Umno tetapi bukan org Melayu amnya. Elitis Umno tidak peduli langsung bencana yg akan menimpa negara kerana mereka terlalu amat kaya. Jika Dato sebagai anak Melayu dan ahli/penyokong Umno yang bijak pandai hanya boleh membuat luahan yg tidak berkesudahan, apatah lagi manusia Melayu yg lain. Tidak hairan dgn apa yg Dato nukilkan ini, Umno mungkin sudah sampai dipenghujungnya. Ketika itu Org Melayu mungkin akan berkata "kalau tahu dah lama aku kahwin awal untuk rasa nikmat bahagia dunia dan akhirat!"


Anonymous,  3 June 2010 at 16:39  


Asas Serba's proposal will be the better option ONLY IF no bail out by the government a few years on.

I hope the government has learned a painful lesson from MAS.

Do remember it's 'rakyat' money too.

Blow d' whistle 7 June 2010 at 11:42  

time to re-engineered the KSU, KSP, KPPA and KSN post...dont limit them to PTD only

let others(engineer, doctor, accountant, lawyer and even lecturer) secure the above post too

the domination of PTD will make Malaysian goes 'under'

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