By Selangor Journal Staff
BALI: It is not possible to have a highway without toll collection imposed, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In a first time revelation, Mahathir said that he was on the opposing side of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to have toll-free highways.
“We made the manifesto thinking we would not be the government. Now we are the government, and this manifesto is a big burden.
“At that time, I was against it. The only way to have freeways and no toll is to raise the price of petrol,” he told Bernama and RTM at the conclusion of the inaugural Asean Leaders Gathering yesterday.
Mahathir explained, should the government do away with toll collection then they will be having much difficulties to maintain existing highways or to build new ones.
Giving England as an example, he said in exchange for no toll roads, the country had imposed a heavy tax on petroleum.
He said this way, when petrol prices go hikes, sonwill the the rate of the tax imposed.
“So they use that money. But if you get the money out of the sale of petroleum, people who do not use the highway also have to pay.
“Here, (highway) users pay. This is our belief. The users pay. Those people who are not using (the roads), why should they pay?” he said.
Mahathir previously said the PH government would need to review its manifesto pledges as some would cause great losses if implemented.