The government is currently reviewing the operation model for tolls in Malaysia and expects to reveal its findings by the end of the year. This is according to works minister Baru Bian, who added that the study will also cover the topic of toll prices, as reported by The Edge.

“As it is a big concern to many people, we will try to expedite it. The toll issue is very clear, I think we have made our stand that we are going to review, look at the whole aspect of it, (including) the impact of it, to all the stakeholders,” Baru said at Parliament lobby recently.

Of course, the more buzzing issue is on the abolishment of tolls, which Baru considered a “very sensitive” matter and that a final decision can only be made when the implications are made clear. “We also come to understand that the implication (of the toll abolishment) is huge. If we abolish it all at one go, as the previous government said, it could even cost us about RM400 billion,” he said.

The government is responsible for all quarters involved in the issue, including the Malaysian Highway Authority, toll concessionaires as well as employees. Stakeholders such as the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) which has a stake in PLUS Malaysia Bhd, also need to be taken into consideration, making the process rather complicated with the various parties involved.

In its GE14 manifesto, Pakatan Harapan stated it would abolish highway tolls in stages. However, Baru noted that the Works Ministry will not rush the issue, as mentioned previously. “In the first place, the manifesto committee has a very good intention. It is not the bible, it’s not the Quran, but it’s a guide for the new government,” Baru said.