JOHOR BARU - A lecturer with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) has questioned the Singapore government's motive to introduce the Reciprocal Road Charge (RRC), viewing the move as an unfair one compared to the policies introduced by Malaysia.
"Malaysians have been paying more all this while as Singapore has been charging us VEP since 1973. Yet, they are retaliating this way after we introduced the RC end of last year," department of business administration lecturer Prof Dr L. Nanthakumar said yesterday.
He also believes the motive behind Singapore's decision was politically driven to mirror Malaysia's Road Charge (RC).
"Their government does not want people to make noise, especially after Malaysia recently introduced the RC, which they felt was targeting them," he told The Star.
He said in the long run, the RC would have a negative impact on Singapore.
"The majority of Malaysians who go to Singapore on a daily basis are those working there and many do not take their Malaysian-registered vehicles.
"Comparing this factor with Singaporeans who visit Malaysia in their own vehicles in high volumes, especially during the weekends, I think the charge will affect them more than Malaysians in the long run," he said.
He added that the weakening Malaysian ringgit compared to the Singapore dollar also weighed heavily against Malaysians to cross the border for leisure activities.
Dr Nanthakumar said that with the development taking place in the country, the Government might want to encourage locals working in Singapore to find employment opportunities here.
A typical Malaysian driving in Singapore in a Malaysian-registered vehicle via the Causeway would have to pay at least about RM166 per trip.
The charges to be paid come Feb 15 are the RRC S$6.40 (RM20), Singapore Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) of S$35 (RM109.30) and Singapore checkpoints toll fares (for both ways) S$6.50 (RM20.30).
The amount does not include the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) imposed on motorists travelling within restricted zones in Singapore, which was equivalent to Malaysia's tolls, where rates vary according to the locations.