Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently spoke in a social media broadcast, which focused on the economy and the government’s policies under Budget 2018. During the near hour-long session, Najib, who is also finance minister, touched upon a topic that always sparks a conversation – tolls.

At the 23 minutes and 24 seconds mark, Najib stated that he wasn’t a fan of tolls, but abolishing them isn’t that easy. “Take for instance abolishing tolls, oh very easy. It’s actually not, but I don’t believe that if you are charged toll a daily basis, it’s good for the rakyat,” he said.

He continued, “if it’s the North-South Expressway, if it’s the Karak Expressway, then yes, you only use them once in a while. But if you are paying tolls daily, twice, four times, anyone would be upset.”

“So, I don’t believe that. My predecessor was a great believer in toll. I do not like toll. Which is why there is no toll on the Pan Borneo Highway for the people of Sabah and Sarawak. Batu Tiga, Sungai Rasau, Bukit Kayu Hitam, EDL (Eastern Dispersal Link), we abolished (toll collection) there.”

“Wherever I can, I will abolish toll because I don’t think it’s good. It’s upsetting and creates jam, but we can do it because I have to unravel some of the earlier decisions, legacy problem. I will unravel what I think is not to the interest of the people of Malaysia, that I will do,” he ended.