JOSEPHINE TEO: S'PORE WILL MATCH MALAYSIA'S TOLL FEE

SINGAPORE – Singapore will ensure that its toll charges match Malaysia’s, as part of a “long-standing” matching policy which “reflects the shared nature of the two crossings, and ensures a fair distribution of total revenues from the crossings,” said Senior Minister of State (Finance and Transport) Josephine Teo in Parliament today (Sept 9).

Since August, the Malaysian government had increased toll charges for all vehicles, except motorcycles, travelling from Singapore to Johor through the Causeway, and introduced a new Causeway toll for all vehicles travelling from Johor to Singapore. Those travelling from Johor to Singapore previously paid no tolls.

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“Without a matching policy, lower toll charges by one side may simply be offset by higher tolls rivalled by the other side. There is no assurance that toll charges foregone by one side will be translated into lower total charges which benefit motorists,” she said.

If Malaysian authorities decide to reduce or do away with the toll charges, as suggested by some media reports, Singapore will follow suit. “This will be welcomed, I think, by both Singapore and Malaysia businesses on either side of the Causeway,” she said.

Addressing an earlier question on the ministry’s decision to raise fees for vehicle entry permits (VEP) and goods vehicle permits (GVP), Mrs Teo also noted that the move sought to equalise costs of owning and using a foreign-registered vehicle in Singapore, with that of a Singapore-registered vehicle – the latter tends to be “significantly higher” due to Singapore’s Certificate of Entitlement (COE) policy, higher vehicles, etc.

Since August, VEP fees were increased from S$20 to S$35 a day for foreign cars entering the country while fees for goods vehicles were raised from S$10 to S$40 a month.

Mrs Teo said the increases were introduced as part of LTA’s periodic review of fees, which found that the difference between owning and using a foreign-registered vehicle and a Singapore-registered vehicle had widened in recent years.

She reiterated that the VEP is not intended as a revenue generator and fees collected vary, depending on the number of vehicles entering Singapore and their length of stay.

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