The Government will match Malaysia’s new toll charges in the next few weeks, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Friday (Aug 1), in a statement issued in response to Malaysia's increase in toll charges for vehicles travelling from Singapore to Johor, and to the implementation of new Causeway toll charges on vehicles travelling from Johor to Singapore.
Malaysia's increased toll charges for all vehicles, except motorcycles, travelling from Singapore to Johor through the Causeway and its new Causeway toll for all vehicles travelling from Johor to Singapore both took effect today. The LTA understands that these changes are different from Malaysia’s earlier announcement to impose an entry fee on foreign-registered vehicles entering Johor.
The move to match these new toll charges would be in line with Singapore's long-standing policy of matching its toll charges at the Causeway and Second Link to those set by Malaysia, and Malaysia is aware of this policy, said an LTA spokesman.
"As details of Malaysia’s toll revisions were not made known to Singapore earlier, LTA would need some time to operationalise the changes," the spokesman added. Noting reports that the Malaysian authorities would be reviewing the tolls, the spokesman confirmed that "should Malaysia reduce or do away with the toll charges, Singapore will follow suit".
The LTA statement also pointed out the difference between Singapore’s Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) and Goods Vehicle Permit (GVP) Fees, and Malaysia’s new 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 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 10 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.
Speaking to media on the sidelines of a community event on Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam also reiterated the rationale behind Singapore's decision to raise the VEP fees for foreign-registered vehicles entering the country. "It is to make sure that Singaporeans don't pay disproportionate to what others pay, and that foreign vehicles are charged an amount that's proportionate to the usage in Singapore to make sure that congestion is reduced." Mr Shanmugam said he believed that Johor's toll fee hike will not affect ties between Singapore and Malaysia.