In light of the recent toll hikes across several major highways, the Ministry of Works (KKR) has issued a statement justifying the need for such a move. According to the New Straits Times, the government has already paid a total of RM1,108.91 million in compensation to highway concessionaires as a result of the delay in imposing toll fare hikes from 2008 to 2013.

For the year 2014 alone, the government had reportedly paid a total of RM402.9 million to concessionaires for the same reason. The Works Ministry believes that the total figure, which sums up to about RM1,511.9 million, could have been channelled to “boost the economy and benefit Malaysians.”

“The government believes the compensation from the postponement of toll fare hikes could have been rightfully used to create multiplier effects to the nation’s economy which can benefit Malaysians people as a whole,” commented the ministry in a statement issued. Additionally, The Star has also reported that the ministry has claimed it chose to defer the increase earlier on to safeguard the welfare of the people.

toll booth

Additionally, the money paid as compensation could have been directed towards the establishment of more schools and hospitals as well as used to resurface existing roads. The ministry also defended the move by stating that only hikes on intra-city highways were implemented and not inter-city highways.

Also, toll rates for buses have been more or less maintained to further encourage the use of public transport. “This could potentially reduce traffic and road congestion,” said the ministry. For a full look at the affected highways and the corresponding updated toll rates, click here.