Malaysians Protest Over 400% Toll Hike By Malaysian Government
The Malaysian Highway Authority’s Johor Causeway toll of cars is now RM 16.50 instead of RM 2.90, amongst other increases for taxis, buses and commercial vehicles. The explanation for the toll was that it was for the maintenance of the JB CIQ and the EDL, the smaller newer highway in JB that connects to the NS highway. Malaysians are angered as those using the EDL but not the Causeway get a free ride, while those who use the Causeway but not the EDL are subsidising for the EDL users.
Furthermore, this toll looks different from the VEP that the Malaysian government wanted to introduce in 2015 in retaliation to the proposed Singapore-side fee increase from $20/day to $25/day for foreign cars driving into Singapore.
The in-out toll will hit Johor residents who work in Singapore as well as commercial vehicles heading into the Singapore market and port, and back. The thousands of bikes entering Singapore daily are exempted for now from the toll so the industry and retail workers biking into Singapore would be unaffected so far. As this is separate from the tit-for-tat VEP by Putrajaya and with Johor re-asserting its economic independence e.g. Iskandar, a simplified explanation is that could be an attempt to dent Singapore’s economy by driving up daily costs of Johor-Singapore commuters and businesses, deterring them from driving south.
SINGAPORE — Malaysian buses ferrying factory workers and school children into Singapore are reported to have staged a strike at the Malaysian Checkpoint at Johor Bahru.
MediaCorp Hotline received at least five calls about the incident early this morning (Aug 1). One of the callers, Mr Tan, said he saw many Malaysian-registered buses ferrying factory workers from Johor stopped their vehicles at Johor Checkpoint, refusing to continue their journey into Singapore at Woodlands.
Mr Tan said the strike by the bus drivers caused heavy traffic congestion at the Johor Checkpoint. Factory workers had to disembark at the Malaysian CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex) and walk a long distance into Singapore to board buses to their workplace.
Another caller said the congestion at the Malaysian CIQ had also affected school children travelling into Singapore. He said most of them will be late for school this morning. CHANNEL NEWSASIA