Liow: Road charge levied on all vehicles entering Malaysia
SEGAMAT: The Government never had the intention of discriminating Singapore-registered vehicles when implementing the road charge (RC) at all land entry points nationwide, said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The Transport Minister said he had already informed his Singapore counterpart about Malaysia’s intention to start the RC from Nov 1.
“Singapore has been charging and collecting from Malaysian vehicles for a very long time, while we are just about to start the RC.
“We are not discriminating against Singapore vehicles through the RC, as it will soon be implemented in other border points in the country including our border with Thailand,” he told pressmen after visiting the Tai Poh Yah temple near Bukit Siput here yesterday.
Liow was commenting on reports that the island republic may react in some form if the RC discriminated against Singapore vehicles.
This was following Malaysia’s move to introduce the RM20 RC to all foreign private registered vehicles entering Malaysia via Johor.
Liow pointed out that Johor would be the first state to have the RC system before other states that have a border with foreign countries.
The RC would be collected each time motorists enter Malaysia via the Touch n Go card at the Causeway and the Second Link, where the initial collection exercise will only involve foreign private registered vehicles, and exclude foreign registered motorcycles.
Liow also said that Johor would get 25% or RM5 from each foreign-registered vehicle charged through the RC system.
“Johor has nothing to lose with the RC as the Federal Government has assured the state government that they will have their share of the collection,” he said.
An average of 20,000 foreign vehicles come into Malaysia monthly through Johor via the Causeway and Second Link, where until July this year, a total of 144,000 Singapore vehicles have registered for the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP).
In Gelang Patah, state Tourism director Mohd Gadaffie Abd Aziz said the RC would only have a short-term effect on Johor’s tourism industry.
Based on past experiences, he said Singaporean tourists would usually adopt a cautious attitude when a new fee is introduced.
“It is the same when Malaysia implemented a toll charge at the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL).
“Johor recorded a slowdown in tourist arrivals from across the Causeway but the situation returned to normal three months after,” he said.
Other than Johor Baru, Johor also had much to offer from places like Batu Pahat and Muar, he said, adding that the currency exchange rate also favoured Singaporeans.