Singapore toll hike unjustified: Minister

JOHOR BARU - Singapore should not use the toll charge introduced at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Cus­toms, Immigration and Quaran­tine (CIQ) Complex to hike the toll at its checkpoint, said Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

The Minister in the Prime Min­ister's Department said toll at the CIQ complex was to pay the highway concession company and to upgrade the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL).

He said Singapore's excuse to match the toll charges introduced at the Causeway checkpoint was "un­­justified".

"The way that they put it, it is as though the Malaysian Government is to blame for their increase in toll rates.

"They even said that if we were to review our toll charge, they would also consider reviewing their charges. But there has never been such an agreement between the two governments before," he said at a dialogue with the Johor Baru Tiong-Hua Association and Chinese community leaders here yesterday.

Dr Wee, who is also MCA deputy president, said Malaysia had never imposed any such action for any development projects Singapore did for its own roads or toll increases.

He said it was agreed in a recent Cabinet meeting that representatives of the Transport and Foreign ministries would meet their counterparts of the Singapore Govern­ment on the matter to clarify the reason behind the implementation of the toll charge at the CIQ.

"Our ministries will explain and rectify any misunderstanding about the matter and convince Singapore to reconsider," he added.

The toll at the Causeway, which came into effect on Aug 1, is collected from motorists exiting Johor and entering the state within the CIQ, for the maintenance and building costs of EDL and other CIQ-related facilities.

On Sept 12, Singapore Land Trans­port Authority (LTA) issued a statement detailing the new rates for all motorists, except motorcyclists, as they enter and leave Singapore from Oct 1.

Currently, toll is only imposed on motorists leaving Singapore.

In the statement, the LTA said it had been "a longstanding policy" for Singapore to match the toll set by Malaysia at the Causeway and Second Link.