Monday, December 18, 2006

Yesterday, my friends Ronnie Liu and Teng Chang Khim were at the forefront of the people in Cheras to protest against anti-people monopoly and unrelenting primative accumulation in the area.


Blogger hawaiichee said...

Thousands expected at anti-toll hike demo
Bede Hong
Dec 19, 06 12:28pm Adjust font size:

Opposition parties and consumer groups are planning a mammoth
protest against the increase in toll hikes for five major highways
in the Klang Valley.

It is learnt that thousands are expected to turn up at the protest
which will be held along the Lebuhraya Damansara-Puchong (LDP)
highway on Jan 7.

PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub said the Islamic opposition party
alone will bring between 5,000 and 10,000 protestors.

"We are sad that the government is not considerate towards the
people, especially those with low incomes," he said when met after a
closed-door discussion in Kuala Lumpur last night.

The hour-long discussion at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese
Assembly Hall was attended by DAP Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, Parti
Sosialis Malaysia secretary-general S Arutchelvan, PAS treasurer
Hatta Ramli, Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua and
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) president Syed Shahrir Syed

A `Protes Kenaikan Tol' committee has been set up and will be helmed
by Syed Shahrir.

Last week, the government announced that the toll rates for the five
highways will rise between 20 to 60 percent effective Jan 1. LDP
will see its toll rise from RM1 to RM1.60.

Tian said the Jan 7 protest will not only see the participation of
party members. "Local residents who are unhappy with the toll hike
will also participate, " he added when met at the same venue.

Syed Shahrir said the committee has yet to decide on the exact
location to hold the protest.

"It would likely be somewhere where there are parking spaces for the
protestors. We would not be blocking traffic. However, we would be
visible to road users.

"It's a big mobilisation. I don't think it would be solely because
of the toll hikes. The public is very angry at a combination of
things that happened this year, including the fuel hikes," he added.

Buy back highways

The committee will also submit a memorandum to the Prime Minister's
Department on Dec 27 denouncing the toll hikes.

The memorandum will call on the government to make public the
clauses in the concessionaire agreements and to buy back the

Works Minister S Samy Vellu disclosed that it cost RM4.13 billion to
construct the five highways: LDP, Shah Alam Highway, Cheras-Kajang
Highway, Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway and the Guthrie Corridor

The minister also revealed that a RM2.589 billion compensation
package for the five concessionaires was to be incurred from Jan 1,
2007 when the new toll rates take effect to the next review in toll
rates, which is between 2010 and 2012.

Samy Vellu also said the government had to compensate a total of
RM2.275 billion to the operators of four of the five highways, not
including Guthrie Corridor, which is a new highway.

However, while he gave a breakdown of this figure, he did not
specify over what period of time this amount was paid.

But going by this, the government could be paying as much as RM4.9
billion in compensation alone for the highways.

Opposition party DAP has urged the government to buy up the five
highways by paying the concessionaires RM4.13 billion for the total
construction cost.

In a related development, DAP will proceed with the Dec 31 protest
at the Grand Saga toll plaza along the Cheras highway. The protest
is jointly organised by the Bandar Mahkota Cheras Open Access Road
Action Committee (BMC-OARAC).

On Sunday, a protest organised by DAP and BMC-OARAC saw some 800
people taking to the streets in Cheras to vent their frustration
against the toll hike.

6:04 PM  

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