The money-crazy PAP Government tries to justify their latest increase on cross-border road charges by portraying it as tit-for-tat.
“This is to ensure that Malaysia takes into consideration our response whenever they raise their tolls or introduce a new levy,” Mr Khaw said.
But before anyone is fooled, let’s look at some events in time:
The Johor-Singapore Causeway was built and completed by the British.
The Causeway was partially severed during the 2nd World War and was rebuilt by the Japanese once they captured Singapore.
There were only toll charges on both sides.
Singapore implemented the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP), collecting a fee of SGD20.00 per foreign-registered car coming in from Malaysia in addition to the toll. Malaysia did not follow suit.
During the 1990s
Singapore extended the VEP to motorcycles, collecting a fee of SGD4.00 per foreign-registered motorcycle coming in from Malaysia in addition to the toll. Malaysia did not follow suit.
Malaysia finally decide to increase the toll for the first time, the PAP Government screamed bloody murder and retaliate by increasing the VEP from SGD20 to SGD35 on Singapore’s side.
1st Nov 2016
Malaysia finally decided to implement the VEP of MYR 20 (officially known as Road Charge or RC for short) on their side 43 years after Singapore has done so, the PAP Government once again screamed bloody murder despite them already collecting VEP for all these years. The Malaysia RC do not apply on foreign-registered motorcycles despite Singapore VEP doing so.
The PAP Government introduces the Reciprocal Road Charge (RRC) of $6.40 on all foreign-registered vehicles to take effect from 15th Feb 2017.
To summarise (from 15th Feb 2017):
Malaysia collects from Singapore-registered cars:
Entry : Toll (MYR 9.70) + RC (MYR 20.00)
Exit : Toll (MYR6.80)
Total : MYR 36.50 (~USD 8.17 at current rate)
Singapore collect from Malaysia-registered cars:
Entry : Toll (SGD 3.80) + VEP (SGD 35.00) + RRC (SGD 6.40)
Exit : Toll (SGD 2.70)
Total : SGD 47.90 (~USD 33.50 at current rate)
To put it in perspective (from 15th Feb 2017) by looking at the USD value, we can observe that Singapore is collecting 4.1 times per foreign-registered vehicle more than Malaysia.
So who is matching who? Match what?
If the PAP is actually sincere in matching, then they should be reducing the fees collected on foreign-registered vehicles instead of increasing it.
And if you think this has nothing to do with you because you do not drive, think again. Many of the groceries and commodities you consume on a daily basis are imported from Malaysia via land-border crossings. Any increase on the border-crossing fees increases the prices of the things you buy.
*The above is a Facebook post by Leslie Chew: