Msia knee-jerk reaction over VEP increase: JB doomed?
That the Malaysian government is miffed by the steep increases in VEP for Malaysian vehicles and lorries is understandable. But its knee-jerk reaction is not in the interests of Malaysia, particularly JB.
It’s a well-known fact that many JB businesses depend on Singaporean patronage ranging from street hawker stall, supermarkets, eateries, malls, car wash, motoring services, golfing and cheaper petrol.
By increasing the toll for Singapore cars, is the Malaysian government protecting the interests of these businesses? The answer is simple: No.
Such businesses will suffer a slump that’s much is certain.
I’ve polled regular JB day trippers, and 100% have responded with a vehement NO if Malaysia were to dramatically increase its toll.
These days one faces endless congestion at the Woodlands Checkpoint. Apart from the financial considerations and one to two hours of being stuck in the traffic, it won’t be that worthwhile to go to JB merely to save a few dollars.
And with many budget airlines now, flying to regional destinations is both fun and economical. What’s the fun of driving to the same old destinations like KL and Malacca anymore?
In short, Malaysia has more to lose than Singapore. Bear in mind too that any increase in toll in JB will be matched by LTA.
Malaysia have every right to be incensed but it has to think very carefully.
As for myself, I think my JB days are well and truly over. I used to take frequent road trips in Malaysia till budget airlines enticed me to fly.