PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Netizens are unhappy with the announcement of a toll hike for motorists using the Johor Causeway, saying that the move would burden Malaysians working in Singapore and also affect businesses in Johor.
The Malaysian Highway Authority announced that the toll hike is to be imposed on all vehicles passing through the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex, beginning Aug 1.
The CIQ complex, also known as the Sultan Iskandar Building, is the border checkpoint near the Johor Causeway.
Currently, private cars entering Johor from Singapore only pay a one-way charge of RM2.90 (S$1.13), irrespective of whether they are locally- or foreign-registered.
But when the new charges kick in, cars will pay a total of RM16.50 for a day trip to Singapore and back, while buses pay RM13.30 to and fro Singapore. Taxis will be charged RM8.20 per two-way trip.
Facebook user Pejo Ung said that the move was akin to cutting off one's nose to spite his face.
"If Singaporeans stop coming, Johor's economy will be affected," he wrote.
Another user, David Thena said: "I'm wondering are we digging our own grave...those who commute to work in Singapore suffer most."
Keeran Kaur and Michael Tan also shared the same sentiments, saying that the move would affect businesses in Johor.
"Johor Baru businesses will suffer the most. Malaysia killing itself," Kaur wrote.
Sri Krishna called the toll hike 'rubbish', lamenting the need to impose such high rate on Malaysian cars, and not just to those with Singapore-registered number plates.
While most were unhappy with the increase, there were others who felt that the hike would not stop Singaporeans from coming to Malaysia.
Martin Jung said that Malaysia provides facilities at a much cheaper rate compared to Singapore.
"Singaporeans will continue to come. With 2.5 times exchange rate, things are still cheaper.
"Those Malaysians driving Singapore cars, remember you earn Sing dollars, but why stay in JB, accommodation, parking, rokok (cigarettes), food, groceries etc must be cheaper than Singapore right?" Jung said.
Another Facebook user Shakie Shawn also said that it was a good move to impose toll on Singapore-registered cars but questioned the rationale behind imposing it on Malaysians.
"Good move to start charging toll on Singapore cars, slightly down reactions in the beginning but after a while, I am sure no effect at all.
"They are just like Malaysians in many ways and live with it. But why increase on us Malaysians? By triple? Ridiculous," Shawn said.