SINGAPORE - Singapore will match Johor's new higher Causeway tolls "in the next few weeks", said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Friday night.
"As details of Malaysia's toll revisions were not made known to Singapore earlier, LTA would need some time to operationalise the changes," said a spokesman. Should Malaysia reduce or do away with the toll charges, Singapore will follow suit, he added.
As of midnight Friday, cars entering Johor from Singapore through the Johor Baru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex have to pay a toll of RM9.70 ($3.78), up from the previous RM2.90. Cars travelling from Johor to Singapore previously paid no tolls, but are now subjected to a new toll of RM6.80 ($2.70). While motorcycles continue to be exempted from the tolls, drivers of bus, goods vehicles and taxis now also have to pay more at the Malaysia checkpoint.
LTA currently imposes separate lower tolls for vehicles going from Singapore to Johor, but none for when they return. When Singapore matches Malaysia's rates, cars making a round-trip can expect to pay a total of about $12.90 in tolls, up from the current $7.60, and more than five times the $2.30 before August 1.
Meanwile, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) has expressed its concerns over the toll increases. In a statement to the media, the president of the SCCI, Mr Thomas Chua said the higher charges will increase transportation costs for businesses and affect the ease of commuting.
"We strongly urge the authorities of both countries to work together to resolve this quickly and look into the predicament of the business community," he added. Mr Chua also said the SCCCI is prepared to work with its counterpart in Malaysia to provide feedback to both governements.
Here is the Land Transport Authority's statement in full:
In response to media queries, a Land Transport Authority (LTA) spokesperson noted that Malaysia has increased toll charges for all vehicles, except motorcycles, travelling from Singapore to Johor through the Causeway, as well as introduced a new Causeway toll for all vehicles travelling from Johor to Singapore, both with effect from today, 1 August 2014. LTA understands that these Causeway toll changes are different from Malaysia’s earlier announcement to impose an entry fee on foreign-registered vehicles entering Johor. The spokesperson reiterated that Singapore has a long-standing policy of matching our toll charges at the Causeway and Second Link to those set by Malaysia, and that Malaysia is aware of this policy. The Singapore Government will thus match Malaysia’s new toll charges in the next few weeks. As details of Malaysia’s toll revisions were not made known to Singapore earlier, LTA would need some time to operationalise the changes. The LTA spokesperson noted that the media had reported that the Malaysian authorities would be reviewing the tolls. He confirmed that should Malaysia reduce or do away with the toll charges, Singapore will follow suit. Singapore’s Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) and Goods Vehicle Permit (GVP) Fees, and Malaysia’s New Causeway Toll Charges The LTA spokesperson observed that Singapore’s VEP and GVP fees are different from Malaysia’s Causeway toll charges. VEP and GVP fees are not intended as revenue generators or to charge vehicles for the usage of the Causeway, Second Link or other roads. Instead, they seek to equalise the cost of owning and using a foreign-registered vehicle in Singapore, with that for a Singapore-registered vehicle.. The LTA spokesperson also explained that the need to revise Singapore’s VEP and GVP fees arose from the fact that this cost difference has widened in recent years. Based on 2013 data, the VEP fee increase will only affect about one in ten foreign-registered cars. Other foreign-registered cars will not be affected as they enter and stay in Singapore on VEP-free days or during VEP-free hours. Buses, taxis and motorcycles are not affected by the increase in Singapore’s VEP and GVP fees.