In its infancy, 2007 has provided a momentum for the public to voice their displeasure on the recent toll rate increase for the concessionaires. The Malaysian Government has recently approved toll increase of between 20 - 30 % for five concessionaires which will be an additional burden to the public.
Anti-Toll Coalition will hold a gathering at 4.00pm, January 7 (Sunday) in front of the Sunway Pyramid shopping complex, where Litrak office is located nearby, to launch a rakyat's protest against the toll increase. Prior to this, PAS has also launch a similar peaceful gathering to protest the toll hike on 6th Jan '07 at Gombak. As usual, the Police are there to ensure that there is no untowards incident happening whilst warning the protestors that action will be taken on the pretext of illegal gathering.
On the other hand, on the same day (6th Jan '07), Malaysia launch the Visit Malaysia Year campaign with the unveiling of 'Eye on Malaysia' which was built without proper tendering processes. A smaller version of the 'Eye of London' the 'Eye on Malaysia' has air conditioned gondolas able to carry 8 person per gondola. The 'Eye' will be launched by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, who incidentally surfaced after a long oversea vacation in Turkey, Venezuela, Autralia to mention a few and has been missing from Malaysia during the height of the recent flood that hit the state of Johor.
It has been widely circulated that the 'Eye on Malaysia' cost RM 43 million ringgit. This is not a small amount of money where the tender committee can by-pass the normal tendering process. Further, the 'eye' may not be a permanent feature to grace Taman Titiwangsa. Further, the Department of Machinery and other relevant departments may not have enough data and information to declare the structure safe, when the opening ceremony is to be graced by the Prime Minister.
2007 may start at a wrong footing for Malaysia - toll increase for the masses and the PM is treated to another 'white elephant'. And I believe at the same time, not many read the sacrifice of one late Tun Dr Ismail, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia during Tun Abd Razak's term in office. You can read about him here and follow the series from there onwards.
Even the assurance from the Second Finance Minister that the fuel price will not be increased,
there is no assurance that the price will drop as the world fuel price has drop to USD 60 from the previous high of USD 70. The negation strategy will not make the public happy and will raise more questions - who is the Government accomodating, the public or the Concessionaires ?
Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...