Following an uproar over what is seen by commuters as a steep toll hike at Johor’s main border checkpoint, the Malaysian government said that it will review the move, which affects mainly commuters travelling between Singapore and Johor Baru from Friday.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government is studying other possibilities for commuters that enter Johor Baru and Singapore daily to avoid burdening local motorists.
"We have asked the works minister to see whether there are issues related to this and if there are, we will address them," he told the local media on Tuesday. "We don't want to burden local road users."
Last Friday, commuters who travel between Singapore and Johor Baru often were caught off guard by news that they would have to pay an increase of more than 500 per cent in toll charges at the Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ) from Friday, August 1. The CIQ, otherwise known as the Sultan Iskandar Building, is one of two border checkpoints in Johor.
Passenger cars, regardless whether they are Malaysia- or foreign-registered, will have to pay RM16.50 (S$6.50) for a two-way trip - that is, RM9.70 when they enter and RM6.80 when they leave Johor Baru. At present there is a one-way charge of RM2.90 for cars entering Johor Bahru. Only motorcyclists are exempt from paying the new toll hike.
Mr Muhyiddin has justified the toll hike by saying it would be used to maintain the Eastern Dispersal Link - an 8.1km expressway that connects the CIQ to the North-South expressway heading to Malacca and Kuala Lumpur - and other CIQ-related facilities.
"For Singapore, they may increase their toll as they have the right to do so as well," he said.
The sharp increase has Johoreans working in Singapore, who travel both ways each day, fuming.