So a month has passed after the JB bombshell of nearly 500% in toll hikes.
What has been the impact?
The cross border travel has plunged dramatically. Generally it’s free flowing traffic except for the inbound traffic from Malaysia during the morning rush hour.
This has wide ranging negative implications for JB businesses. A sign of the times is the sight of car wash workers desperately waving whenever they spot a Singapore car as if they are in some kind of emergency situation.
Initially hopes were raised that the Malaysian authorities would review the steep toll hikes. Politically correct opinions were duly expressed.
The Deputy Prime Minister said tolls should not be a burden on the people. MCA and the social media too expressed similar concern.
As expected it was eyewash. When the revenue poured in like a gigantic waterfall, the noble sentiments were conveniently forgotten. Cakap saja (Malay for talk only).
Meanwhile JB has pursued the idea of its own VEP, a permit to enter JB. This could be NOT less than RM 50. The final decision now lies with the federal government.
This will be the death knell for JB businesses surely.
But the governments of both Malaysia and Singapore are laughing all the way to the bank no doubt about it.
There might be a political price to pay for PM Najib of Malaysia. But no such misgiving for Singapore PM Lee.
He’d have said ” Daft Singaporeans. No matter how we screw them, they’d always give us another mandate. Throw a few crumbs their way, they’d worship the very ground I walk on. Hahaha.”
Daft Singaporeans. Food for thought.