TIT-FOR-TAT MANNER: SINGAPORE TO IMPLEMENT RRC IN 24 HOURS

JOHOR BARU – With just barely 24 hours to go for the implementation of Singapore’s Reciprocal Road Charge (RRC), local political and business leaders are hoping that it can be delayed or postponed due to its negative effects.

They say that the business climate is already challenging due to the sluggish world economic situation and the last thing anyone needs is for two countries to increase their road charges in a tit-for-tat manner and burden the people.

Johor MCA government coordinating affairs bureau chairman Michael Tay said that if Singapore and Malaysia can sit down and discuss about the High Speed Rail project, why not about the Malaysian road charge (RC) or Singapore’s RRC.

“Why can’t both countries sit down and talk about this as it is becoming expensive to travel between both countries.

“This is not in a neighbourly spirit. This is also not good for both countries as they are responding in a tit-for-tat manner,” he told The Star here yesterday.

He also said he hoped that Malaysia would quickly start the RC for Thailand or Brunei so that Singapore would rescind its RRC.

Beginning Feb 15, all foreign-registered cars would have to pay the RRC of S$6.40 (RM20) per entry when they entered Singapore via the Tuas or Woodlands checkpoints.

Singapore’s Land Transport Authority said the RRC mirrors Malaysia’s Road Charge (RC ) of RM20 per entry for non-Malaysian-registered cars entering Johor, which was implemented on Nov 1 last year.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Indian Commerce Association president P. Sivakumar said while it was Singapore’s right to impose the RRC, he questioned the timing as it was not a good time for the business community.

“Both governments should be pro business as besides workers, many business people also commute between both countries for dealings,” he said, adding that the timing for such new charges was not appropriate given the sluggish global economy.

Sivakumar added that Malaysia should also look into giving incentives for their RC similar to Singapore, which allows for 10 Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) free days or no VEP during certain hours.

He said he hoped that this road charges, RRC and toll issues at the Causeway and Second Link would be raised at the next bilateral meeting between both the countries.

– ANN

.