So the cat is out of the bag in a manner of speaking.
In an unashamedly tit for tat, Malaysia will impose a toll of not less than RM 50 (about SGD 20) on Singapore vehicles. And don’t forget LTA, aggressive in chasing after every dollar, will match whatever final figure Malaysia comes up with.
So SGD 40 to drive to JB? One must be insane.
It might go up as high as RM 90
to match the VEP SGD 35
Malaysian vehicles have to pay. In other words, to match the greed of the Singapore government.
In an attempt at justification, some quarters in Malaysia aver that it’s right that Singaporeans pay to maintain its infrastructure.
Others claim that with their superior currency exchange rate Singaporeans wouldn’t mind paying more.
Have Singaporeans been exploitive and not bestowing any benefits to JB?
The fact is that Singaporeans have boosted the economy of JB. Its entertainment, shopping, food, and motoring sectors depend largely on Singaporean patronage. 70% of the cars at a car wash outlet are from Singapore for example.
Every time we pump petrol in JB, buy cigarettes or even eat at MacDonald we pay taxes to the Malaysian government.
Malaysia is making the fatal mistake in assuming that Singaporeans find either the country so irresistible or that they are so daft that they will still come.
Singaporeans flock to JB and are willing to brave the perennial traffic congestion because of the bargains to be had.
These bargains will vanish with a punitive toll and so will Singaporeans from the streets of JB.
Polling ten of my friends for their reactions, everyone vowed not to go to JB anymore.
“What for? No point anymore,” was the typical response.