KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 – Malaysian officials will meet their Singaporean counterparts to find out the real reason for increased toll charges at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex. The Star Online reported today that Malaysian officials would try to convince the island republic to rethink its decision to increase the toll by five-fold at its checkpoint from October 1. It quoted Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong as saying that the Transport and Foreign Ministries would meet with Singaporean officials as soon as possible to clear the air over the matter.
The matter had to be clarified as Singapore’s reason for raising toll charges in order to match Malaysia’s toll hike was “unjustified”, Wee was reported as saying. “We have to meet them personally to rectify their perception that Malaysia introduced a new charge at the CIQ to pay the concessionaire and to upgrade the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL). “It should not be an excuse for them (Singapore) to increase their toll charges,” Wee had told the media in Johor Baru today. According to a statement detailing the new rates, Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it had been a long-standing policy for Singapore to match the toll set by Malaysia at the Causeway and Second Link.
The new toll rates will affect all motorist entering and exiting Singapore, except motorcyclists. Presently, toll is charged only when motorists leave Singapore. Car drivers who now pay S$1.20 (RM3.03) will have to fork out S$6.50 (RM16.44). The toll for taxis will be up from 60 cents (RM1.52) to S$3.30 (RM8.35), while buses will be charged S$5.30 (RM13.40) instead of the S$1 (RM2.53). Van drivers and light goods vehicle drivers will have to pay S$9.80 (RM24.79), instead of S$1.90 (RM4.81). The toll for heavy goods vehicles will increase from S$2.60 (RM6.58) to S$13 (RM32.88).