Thursday, November 17, 2011

The 17 year punishment of Penangites according to Guan Beng

Beng apekelancau lu cita beb? Kasi la classy sikit punya sekarang manyak chubby chup chups ma....apa makan? jangan jadi Fei Chai loh....

Pengendali lebuh raya PLUS Expressways Bhd didakwa "berbohong" kepada rakyat apabila berkata syarikat itu melepaskan bayaran ganti rugi RM6.5 bilion kepada kerajaan, kata Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang Lim Guan Eng. "Pengecualian" itu, kata Lim dicapai dengan melanjutkan tempoh mengutip tol di tiga lebuh raya. "Ini adalah helah... Ia sebenarnya peningkatan yang tersembunyi," kata Lim yang juga ahli parlimen Bagan pada sidang akhbar di bangunan Parlimen hari ini. Lim merujuk akhbar-akhbar arus perdana hari ini yang melaporkan bahawa pengendali bersama lebuh raya itu, Kumpulan UEM dan KWSP memutuskan mereka akan mengecualikan RM2.9 bilion dalam baki ganti rugi tertunggak semasa dan pembekuan kenaikan tol sehingga 2015, yang akan sebaliknya menyebabkan kerajaan menanggung RM3.6 bilion. Memetik jawapan bertulis daripada Kementerian Kerja Raya bertarikh 28 Jun yang menyatakan tol Jambatan Pulau Pinang akan beroperasi sehingga 2038, Lim berkata, ia sebenarnya adalah lanjutan 17 tahun, sedangkan kutipan tol di jambatan itu sepatutnya tamat pada 2021. "Apa pengecualian? Mereka menipu. Saya fikir hanya anak-anak saya akan membayar tol tetapi sekarang nampaknya cucu saya juga perlu bayar," katanya. "Perjanjian ini menghukum warga Pulau Pinang ... Source here
Before we go any further ...lets understand a little bit about this bridge

 The Penang Bridge project was the original idea of the second Malaysian Prime Minister, The late YAB Tun Abdul Razak bin Dato’ Hussain and the planning commenced in 1960. The success for the project was ensured by detained pans and careful research. In 1971, the Government of Malaysia recognized that to realize the potential economic growth in the State of Penang, a fixed link between the Island and the mainland should be constructed.
The decision to commence construction was made by YAB Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, the fourth Malaysian Prime Minister in 1982 and Tun Dr mahathir bin Mohamad officially visited the bridge.. Taking almost 3¾ years to complete, the bridge was officially opened to the traffic on 14th September 1985 by the Deputy Prime Minister, YAB Tun Musa bin Hitam. Being one of famous landmark in the country, Penang Bridge has contributed significantly to the socio-economic, cultural and social development of Penang State since its operation in 1985.

The bridge comprises the construction of a high level bridge of a Cable-Stayed Concrete Girder type was built by the Government in 1982 at a total cost of RM800 million (excluding the cost of land acquisition). Constructed with a 6.2 km dual lane carriageway and 2.2 km three lane carriageway for the middle span, the bridge embrace 3 interchanges with the 13.5km length, comprises 8.4 km of bridge structure over water, 1.5 km of viaduct and roadway approach on the Penang Island side and 3.6 km of approach roadway on the Perai side.Source here
Did the Government charge the users when it first opened?

Source NST October 5th 1988 go here
The initial concessionaire was the Malaysian Highway Authorities @ Lembaga Lebuh Raya Malaysia

Even then there was already talks of Toll Price reduction....after 1 year in operation...

NST October 28, 1986 refer here

You see how kelam kabut this Penang Toll issue...baru satu tahun bukak dah kecoh sekampung.....

banyak cantik lu Penang mali semua....Jambatan Mau....Bayar Tara mau.....

After 2 years...this came out......

NST Nov 4th 1988 refer here

In 1993 the role of MHA was transferred to Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd

Penang Bridge Sdn Bhd (PBSB) is the concessionaire of the Penang Bridge and is responsible for managing, operating, upgrading and collecting toll from the Bridge under a 25-year concession from August 15, 1993 to May 31, 2018. It is a single-purpose company with the sole purpose of undertaking the operations, maintenance, tolling and improvement works on the Penang Bridge. Source here
Source here

Remember my post on Government Debts? If there was no Privatisation how do you think our Government Debts would look like.......

So how was the reaction of the Penang Government when the Federal Government decided to Privatize the Bridge....

Read Below reproduced in full interview with Koh Soo Khoon...

G4U: The FG decided to privatise the bridge to the UEM Group in 1993. As the CM at that time, what was your response?

KTK :The moment I knew about the privatisation proposal in 1992, I rushed to Kuala Lumpur to get the full picture from the then Finance Minister (Tun Daim Zainuddin). I was concerned that privatization might burden the people of Penang with high toll rate increases, just like the North South Highway. I was told that even after seven (7) years of toll collection, the debt borne by the FG actually became higher because of the increasing strength of the Japanese Yen. Hence, the proposal to sell the bridge to UEM as concessionaire to repay the entire loan. In answer to my query, the toll rate was proposed to increase every three (3) years at a compounded interest rate of six (6) per cent per annum, similar to the North-South Highway toll formula. It would exceed RM40.00 at the end of 30 years!! (see table).
In response to my strong protest, the FG then proposed to reduce the toll from RM7.00 to RM5.00, but maintained the formula of increase. I also found this unacceptable because it would still increase to RM30.00 in 30 years’ time. I then gathered information about the current and potential traffic volume increase projections to show substantial revenue gain by the bridge company and used this to convince the FG. After a few rounds of negotiations, the FG agreed to maintain the RM7 toll but to reduce the increase period to every five (5) years at only two (2) per cent per annum which was effectively less than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase. By this formula, the toll would reach only RM12.70 at the end of 30 years (see table).

G4U: Why was your effort not publicised and publicly known?
KTK: Admittedly, at that time, I was more focused on getting the best deal for the people of Penang. My concern was not political publicity for myself. Anyway, when the agreed toll formula was announced, it was widely accepted without any protest, even from the opposition. Now, in hind sight, some friends suggested that I should have engineered a “political show,” with the FG announcing the original “high increase” formula, then with me publicly protesting and eventually succeeding in lowering the toll rate increase, thus becoming a “hero”. But I really did not see it from such a political angle. I sincerely believe that it is the duty of the government elected by the people to do the best for the people and not to politicise for the sake of publicity.

G4U: Even with this rather low toll rate increase formula, you managed to postpone the toll increase three (3) times since 1993 until now. How did you achieve that?

KTK: According to the Concessionaire Agreement, the first increase to RM7.70 should have come in 1998, five (5) years after 1993. However, Malaysia was hit by the 1997 – 1998 Asian Financial Crisis. Hence, I used this as the major argument to convince the FG not to increase the toll rate, so as not to further burden the people during such a difficult time. Moreover, I managed to show that the actual traffic volume increase exceeded what was projected, hence giving additional revenue to the concessionaire. The next scheduled increase to RM8.50 came in 2003. We were again in the midst of an economically difficult period, with tourism and trade being hit by the aftermath of the September 11 incident, the Bali bombings and the SARS epidemic, while our manufacturing sector also suffered from the global electronics industry decline in 2001. Hence, I again used the economic argument, supported further by traffic volume increase, to postpone the bridge toll increase. On both occasions, the then Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir and Works Minister Dato’ Seri Samy Vellu were supportive. The toll was again scheduled to increase in 2008 to RM9.40. Just as I was about to present our case to FG again, the General Elections was called in March, and hence negotiation did not proceed, but the toll remained at RM7.00 till now.

G4U: So, the bridge toll has not increased since 1985 until today, ie, for 25 years! Why was this not well known to the people of Penang?

KTK: Well, as there was no increase, there was no announcement. We also did not explain to the public the negotiations that went on behind the scene, not to talk about dramatizing it. Conversely, if there were an increase, it would have made very sensational headlines in the news. But, surely, the people of Penang, especially daily commuters, knew that they have been paying the same toll all these years, although some may have taken it for granted. Nonetheless, this could perhaps one of the reasons that the people of Penang continued to support the Barisan Nasional government led by me in the 1995, 1999 and 2004 General Elections.

G4U: Recently, the DAP MP from Bukit Bendera, Liew Chin Tong, received a reply to his question in Parliament that tolls for the second bridge and the first bridge would be standardised. Had the government confirmed the new toll at RM9.40?

KTK That was the proposal by the bridge concessionaire company. In their argument, as toll increases have been postponed three (3) times and remained unchanged for 17 years since 1993, the concessionaire agreement actually allowed toll increase, or else the FG is required to subsidise the loss of revenue suffered by the concessionaire company. However, I recently impressed upon the Prime Minister (PM) that we really need to take a very close look at the actual revenue and expenditure by the concessionaire company over the years, as well as the Second Bridge’s projected revenue, before we can formulate a long-term strategy, notwithstanding the conditions in the concession agreement.

G4U: The present Pakatan Rakyat government of Penang objected to the toll increase. What should the present Penang CM do? Are you willing to help?

KTK: Strictly speaking, negotiating with the FG in the interest of the Penang people should be the duty of the present CM, as I have done so during my 18 years as the CM. However, rather than presenting convincing viable alternatives to the FG based on facts and figures, the present CM chose the easy way out, by politicizing and dramatizing this issue, calling for toll abolition and attacking the FG and the BN, just as he has been doing on other issues. Of course, I am willing do what I can to help the people of Penang, especially since the present CM seems not to be prepared to face and handle this issue in a professional manner. In fact, I have actually found a workable solution which will not put a heavy burden on bridge users. Based on my proposed concept to the PM, the Works Minister (Shaziman) is now working on a new formula involving both bridges. Source here

So Guan Beng what have you done for the People of Penang?

Did you provided an alternative solution which is Economically Viable on how Penang Bridge can be maintained and operated after 2018?

You want to make it Free of Charge? Your sekolah rendah logic of 

"Saya fikir hanya anak-anak saya akan membayar tol tetapi sekarang nampaknya cucu saya juga perlu bayar" 

tak boleh belah siout.....

Engage us Malaysians with facts and show us your capabilities as a Chief Minister to protect the interest of the Penang people....

This is not a 2 KM Bridge over some sungai kecik la Beng...

This is the 6th Longest Bridge in the World and by 2018 it would have been 32 Years Old by then.... 

Do you know what it takes to maintain and operate the Bridge?

Maintenance is a constant activity that PBSB carries out non-stop. ‘This is carried out on the bridge and toll plaza which include bridge structure, inspections, preventive works and heavy repairs. Improvement works are also carried out to enhance the convenience of users,’ Suhaina says.
The bridge stands 8.4km above water with the towers in mid-span standing 101.5 meters tall and stretching 13.5km from Seberang Prai to Gelugor. One gets a good idea of the size and scale of the bridge as the towers rise more than 100 meters from solid ground to the lofty tip. This also marks the highest point from the road deck – a 30-meter drop.
Maintenance is also carried out below the water line as like an iceberg, important bits of the bridge’s load-bearing structure are sunk into the seabed. Those that are exposed just below the water mark are subject to barnacle infestation as well as rust, and these require physical intervention. ‘We employ the services of specialists companies with sub-sea maintenance technology to send divers to carry out such works,’ she says.
The maintenance work not only takes place on the visible superstructure but also on the submerged columns and pillars below the water line. Barnacles and the myriad marine life in the salty environment can quickly cling to and overwhelm the load-bearing structures. Left uncontrolled, these can impose stresses and strains that will affect the integrity of the submerged columns. For this reason, part of the maintenance regime includes underwater inspections, which are carried out by specialist contractors with a dedicated diving team and underwater operations ability.

Safety measures
As drivers, we are guilty of the offence of ‘rubber-necking’. This is when drivers and their passengers crane their necks to one side to steal a sideways glance when distracted by an incident or accident in the opposite lane. This momentary act results in an involuntary slowing down of the vehicle speed by the driver. Multiply this by the stream of following cars and the combined effect is a huge tailback of cars – on the ‘accident-free’ side! To prevent this on the bridge, Screen Fence Panels (SFP) have been erected way back in 2005 along some 6.7km section of the bridge. Suhaina says the screen will enable drivers to devote their full attention on the road ahead rather than being distracted by their act of ‘rubber-necking’. The panels also act as an anti-glare barrier that prevents the headlight beam from opposing cars from momentarily blinding drivers on the opposite side. ‘These engineering elements have had an immediate impact with the reduction of accidents by more than half in the one-month period back in 2005 when the screens were first introduced,’ says Suhaina. Maintenance is the key in ensuring the integrity of the bridge structure is not compromised. If it were feminine, the bridge would be like a young woman who needs plenty of care and fussing over. In order to see her to her full potential, she needs regular maintenance,’ says Suhaina. Source here

So Guan Beng ada brani kasi solution???

Federal Government negotiated for NO INCREASE Until 2038

How much would 7 ringgit worth in 2018?

Lu accountant ma....ada bilajar Time Value of Money ka?

As a proxy allow me to share with you the story of another Bridge.....shorter in length (only 7km)

The Bay Bridge in Maryland....opened in 1952.......still paying toll till today.....with a regular increase...operated by a Semi Government Entity refer below their Toll Rates...
Source Here

One last question Beng....

If the First Penang Bridge is FOC after 2018 as how your logic of cucu tara bayar......

Why would anyone want to pay for the 2nd Penang Bridge and the Underground Tunnel you just announced

Supported by its monopolistic nature as the sole road link between Penang island and the mainland, the Bridge has been charting stable traffic-volume growth, with a compounded annual growth rate of 2.75% between 2001 and 2009. In 2010, traffic volume increased 10.22% to 25.44 million passenger-car units (PCU) (2009: 23.08 million PCU). The trend carried through the first 5 months of 2011, with a 5.78% year-on-year rise to 10.85 million PCU. The impressive performance is attributable to Penang’s rejuvenated economy and also traffic migration from the Penang ferry service to the Bridge following the opening of its third lane in August 2009, thereby expanding its capacity and easing congestion. Meanwhile, the management expects the opening of the Second Penang Bridge (Second Bridge) - expected by 4Q 2013 - to reduce the Bridge’s traffic volume by about 16%. Nonetheless, it is difficult to gauge the exact traffic patterns. We, however, opine that the existing bridge is likely to remain the principal road link between the mainland and the island of Penang given its more strategic alignment. Source here RAM Rating Report on PBSB Bonds which was used to financed the widening project (for project details go here)

Better be on a diet Beng.....You looked much better you looked like a lazy, kuat makan corrupt Chief Minister.....

Jangan la kurus sangat macam itu kepala mancis Koh Soo Khoon........

Is this extension issue something new that you have just discovered ka Beng???? Lu apa bikin makan tido ka?

 refer this 2006 Piece 

Extension of bridge concession likely BY RISEN JAYASEELAN The government may grant UEM Builders Bhd an extension of the concession period for the existing Penang Bridge to help the company raise funds for the Second Penang Bridge project, sources say. "The company is looking at various [funding options]. In the event that it is going to be a challenge to raise funds from the market in accordance with the strict PFI [private finance initiative] concept, the government could step in. One way is to extend the concession for the existing bridge," says a source familiar with UEM Builders.

"It could be that road users may not be willing to pay a certain toll [rate], which would then have an impact on the 'bankability' of the project. And given that the Second Penang Bridge is an important project under the Ninth Malaysia Plan, the government will possibly step in to ensure it gets off the ground," says the source. UEM Builders has a 25-year concession, which expires in 2018, for the existing Penang Bridge. The second bridge is planned to be ready by 2011. By lengthening the concession period, it would free up cash for UEM Builders that can be utilised for the construction of the second bridge. UEM Builders has estimated the construction cost of the Second Penang Bridge to be between RM2.8 billion and RM3 billion, depending on the design. The first Penang Bridge, completed in 1985, measures 13km in length and cost RM800 million to build then.

An analyst says the government may extend the concession for the first bridge because it is envisaged that the second bridge will take away a fair amount of traffic passing through the first bridge. "Hence, the first bridge's concessionaire is likely to suffer from lower traffic volumes when the second bridge comes onstream. An extension of the concession is a simple way of ensuring the financing model of the first bridge is not disrupted," he notes.
Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. -Lord Thomas Dewer