Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai recently clarified that the RM20 road charge imposed on the Malaysian-side of the Causeway is not a discriminatory charge against Singapore-registered vehicles.
Unfortunately, the Singapore government does not accept Liow’s clarification. This caused an exorbitant cost of RM 166.50 to Malaysian travellers who commute between the countries in their Malaysia-registered vehicles.
It is very clear that Liow is incompetent in this matter. He may need to seek assistance from his colleagues in cabinet, perhaps, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, the Minister in Prime Minister Department who signed the MoU on KL-Singapore High Speed Rail.
Liow should bring this issue into the agenda of the next weekly cabinet meeting so that top leaders in UMNO/BN are well informed of the toll war between Malaysia and Singapore.
At the same time, we hope that the Singapore government should seriously consider adjusting the road charge from time to time according to the exchange rate.
For instance, the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) increased the road charge to S$5.30 to match Malaysia’s RM13.60 EDL toll charge in 2014. It was calculated at the exchange rate of SGD1 to RM2.56 then. However, with the current exchange rate, the matching charge for RM13.60 should be only SGD 4.40.
The two governments should resolve the problem as soon as possible instead of escalating this toll war and toll wall. It is not sustainable for citizens of both countries and for local businesses besides being a joke for the international society.