SHAH ALAM, 2 Jan: The Prime Minister has been reminded to not just place the financial burdens of the country on the shoulders of the people, but he also needs to make the same ‘tough decisions’ for companies owned by cronies of Umno-BN.
The Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, Tony Pua, said that if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants to help reduce the burden of the people, he must take decisive action in reducing profits enjoyed by Bernas, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) and also toll concessionaires.
Otherwise, Pua described the sympathy expressed by Najib is merely an effort that is insincere in appeasing public anger.
“The government can review agreement with toll concessionaires, which have all this time been left to reap overlapping profits and given permission to raise toll rates.
“The Puchong Damansara Expressway (LDP) owned by Litrak, which was built at a cost of RM1.3 billion, has profited RM282 million as of 31 March 2013 before deducting the funding cost of RM89 million and RM48 million in income tax.
“So how can the Federal Government allow this company to reap excessive profits for 16 years more, until 2029,” asked Pua in a statement.
Elaborating, Pua said that the Federal Government is also not able to reduce the price of essential goods such as rice, sugar and petrol, when it is monopolised by companies sponsored by the government itself.
“How is Bernas allowed to monopolise the rice market, whether domestically or import? The same goes for sugar. Why are only two companies allowed to import produce and sell sugar when all subsidies have been withdrawn,” said Pua.
IN relation to that, Pua urged the government to take more effective measures involving Umno-BN cronies to prove their sincerity and earnestness to the people.