Govt looks at various factors before deciding on bail outs: Fadillah Yusof

KUALA LUMPUR: The government will look at various factors before deciding whether to bail out highway concessionaires who are suffering losses, says Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

Fadillah said this when asked about the Johor Baru Eastern Dispersal Link Expressway (EDL) and Senai-Desaru Expressway (SDE).

"We must look into detail, some of the highways are affected because of decisions taken by the government. For example, the EDL that connects Johor Baru to Singapore. When we first introduced the toll, certain portions were free because the Johor government wanted it to be free for Johoreans," he said.

Only vehicles going to and from Singapore needed to pay a toll and this made Singapore react, he explained.

"We also introduced Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) and Singapore also reacted to that. This made the number of vehicles passing through that highway to be reduced tremendously.Thus the traffic projection forecast was not achieved and they (highway concessionaires) are losing. So we must study based on what they have stated, a due diligence needs to be conducted to see if the reasons stated are true," Fadillah added.

After all factors have been studied then it would be decided if the government is going to take over the highway or another private company will.

"In PPP (Public and Private Partnership) it must be win-win to all the parties," he told reporters after officiating the ground-breaking for the construction of an overhead bridge and upgrading of the drainage system at Federal Highway today.

Fadillah said the SDE is also facing problems due to lower traffic volume.

"However this will change when the projects in oil and gas Penggerang are completed."