Gerakan Tanah Air’s (GTA) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad has struck at Pakatan Harapan’s pledge to abolish tolls should the coalition win the upcoming 15th general elections (GE15).
With voting to kick off in less than two weeks, it personally surprises us that only one party has come forth to make that promise.
The Pakatan Harapan coalition had made similar pledge prior to their GE14 win in May 2018, couching the promise by adding that it would be done “in stages.”
It has been considered, reconsidered, walked back, and left idle for so long now that Malaysians have begrudgingly accepted the never-ending sequence of tolled highways as a fact of life, especially so in the Klang Valley.
However, Tun M believes that GTA’s words here ring hollow, questioning the financial feasibility to remove major highways from paid access.
“I don’t believe the people will support them because they know that the country needs tolls,” he said at an event, adding “They (previously) claimed that they will abolish tolls. This time around, they are still promising to do the same.”
Within the same session he added that other pledges in the 2018 general election (GE14) manifesto were not able to be fulfilled, such as the abolishment of the mandatory death penalty.
That said, DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng’s pledge only involved removing all tolls along the North-South Expressway (PLUS) if Pakatan Harapan comes out on top and forms the next federal government, citing the 18% reduction in highway toll rates that had occurred when they were in power for 22 months.
Still, other reports say that Guan Eng expanded further on the toll issue, indicating that it “can abolish all tolls” if it’s able to stay as the ruling party for another 5 years.