KUALA LUMPUR: Toll rates will be increased for five concessionaires come Jan 1, 2007, according to Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu.
He said the Government could not afford to compensate the concessionaires for the Guthrie Corridor Expressway, Karak Highway, Grand Saga Cheras-Kajang Highway, Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong (LDP) and Kesas Shah Alam Highway the estimated RM2bil, if no increase was approved during this round of concession agreements.
It is understood that this is how much the Government will have to fork out until the concession agreements lapse.
Citing an example, Samy Vellu said the original toll rate when the LDP first opened was RM1.50.
â€œBut because of complaints by the people, it was reduced to RM1. Just because the toll was reduced, it did not mean the balance of 50 sen did not have to be paid,â€ he said, adding that the Government had to compensate the LDP concessionaire RM68mil last year and RM76mil this year.
Samy Vellu said the quantum of increase would only be finalised after a study by the ministry to make sure the increase was reasonable and would not burden the public.
The last toll increase was on Jan 1, 2005, when Plus Expressways increased toll rates by 10% on the North-South Expressway. In April 2002, Kesas highway also raised its rates by between 20 sen and 60 sen.
Samy Vellu added that as a matter of policy, the Government would also ensure that if there were two different concessionaires operating on similar routes their toll rates would be identical.
Meanwhile, in Petaling Jaya, Pan Malaysian Bus Operators Association president Datuk Ashfar Ali said he hoped that the increase would not apply to buses.
DUNGUN: The Education Ministry has reminded parents with children eligible for Year One to enrol them in school or face the risk of being fined or jailed.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Noh Omar said Section 29A of the Education Act 1996 stated that parents who did not enrol their children in school could be fined RM5,000 or jailed six months.
â€œIt is compulsory for parents to ensure that their children are registered or else they have to face the music,â€ he said after presenting awards to UPSR high scorers at Sultan Mizan Politeknik here yesterday.
He said parents could no longer use poverty as an excuse for not enrolling their children in school because the Government had established the Poor Student Aid Fund to assist all unprivileged pupils.
He said poor parents would be given RM200 under the fund to be used for registration fees.
Noh said the Government would also increase the RM50 monthly aid currently distributed to poor students to RM70 next year.
â€œWe are also giving free breakfasts to needy pupils. The allocation for meals has also been boosted from RM1.5mil to RM200mil annually beginning next year,â€ he said.
He said the Governmentâ€™s aim was to ensure that pupils from poor families were not deprived of an education up to Form Five and could be high achievers despite their difficulties.
Meanwhile, Noh urged teachers to apply â€œexciting techniquesâ€ when teaching Science and Mathematics in English.
Siapalah yang tak nak hantar anak dia ke sekolah melainkan dihimpit kemiskinan. Kerajaan seharusnya berlembut dalam menangani masalah ini, bukannya menghukum membuta tuli ibubapa yang tidak mampu ini. Patutnya umumkan kepada mana-mana keluarga yang tak mampu laporkan kepada Jabatan Kebajikan ker dan sebagainya,untuk memudahkan saluran bantuan.
ROME: Goals in either half from skipper Francesco Totti inspired AS Roma to a 4-2 win at Sampdoria yesterday.
Roma, who still need a point to secure a place in the Champions League’s last 16 after being beaten by Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk midweek, have no such problems in the Serie A, notching up their fifth straight victory.
The win moves the side from the capital to provisional second in Serie A with leaders Inter Milan travelling to third-placed Palermo later yesterday.
Inter, with 30 points, are a point ahead of Roma with Palermo a further two points behind with 27.
A week after humiliating Catania 7-0 in the Olympic stadium, the Romans hammered home their dominance against the Genoans, with the three Italian internationals who scored last week again hitting the mark.
Totti opened after 13 minutes with midfielder Simone Perrotta claiming the second after 33 minutes and defender Christian Panucci adding a third before the break. Totti netted his second after 74 minutes to give Roma an unequalled 30 goals scored this season.
AC Milan skipper Paolo Maldini grabbed the only goal of the game as his side beat Messina 1-0 on Saturday to help ease the pressure on underfire coach Carlo Ancelotti.
After collecting just one point from four games, Milan desperately needed a victory.
Maldini delivered the three points on 13 minutes when he headed in Andrea Pirlo’s perfectly-weighted free-kick.
â€œThese are three important points which will help us work without anxiousness from now on,â€ said Ancelotti.
â€œThe side still needs to grow. We had a few problems in the first half, but I’m happy with how we ended the game.â€
Milan went into the game still weighed down by their eight-point penalty for match-fixing as well as an injury crisis which has seen goalkeeper Dida ruled out for at least two months after damaging his left knee in Tuesday’s Champions League defeat at AEK Athens.