Thursday, March 15, 2007

Anti-toll, anti-war demos on Sunday

Two major demonstrations are planned for this Sunday in the Klang Valley. One is against the hike in toll charges and the other concerning the American occupation of Iraq. For the anti-war protest, hundreds of people are expected to gather in front of the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur at 10am. Organised by the Anti-War Coalition (GAP) - consisting of opposition parties, civil society and student groups - the demonstration will mark the fourth anniversary of the war in Iraq. “This is an event observed worldwide and we will be organising the Malaysian leg,” said GAP spokesperson S Arutchelvan when contacted.
He added that the demonstration would also highlight concerns over the potential free-trade agreement between Malaysia and the US. ‘Right to know’ Meanwhile, the anti-toll hike demonstration is organised by Protes and will take place outside the Summit USJ shopping mall in Subang Jaya at 4pm. Subang Jaya and its surrounding suburbs are among the areas affected by the toll hikes as it is connected to the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) and Shah Alam Expressway (Kesas) where toll prices were increased 60 percent and 47 percent respectively in January.
This is the fifth protest against the toll hikes and non-disclosure of the respective concession agreements. Two of the previous four protests were marred by arrests and allegations of police abuse.

“The public is urged to attend this protest because they have a right to know the contents of the toll concession agreements which involves public interest,” said Protes secretary Dr Hatta Ramli in a statement.
Protes is made up of opposition parties, trade unions, civil society and student groups Cabinet to decide Calls for the disclosure of concession agreements have been mounting since the sharp hike in toll charges involving five major highways in the Klang Valley. Two leaked concession agreements pertaining to the LDP and Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel project (Smart), have suggested that the government signed lop-sided agreements which guaranteed profits to concessionaires while burdening road users.

Yesterday, Works Minister S Samy Vellu said the Cabinet would decide on whether to make the 22 highway concession agreements public. The documents - presently classified under the Official Secrets Act - would be available for public viewing at the Works Ministry if the cabinet approved.

No comments:

Post a Comment