JB toll hike: signs of JB businesses meltdown?

JB ICQ implemented the new toll rates for inbound and outbound (new) yesterday.

Curious to know the effect that would have on Singapore motorists, I checked the traffic situation for the morning rush hour. Lo and behold, the Woodlands Checkpoint was deserted when normally it would be bumper to bumper traffic heading to JB.

So the majority also share my view that it’s no longer worthwhile. And when LTA, whose core revenue is greed, matches the JB tolls, the noose over JB is tightened further.

It also proves that the majority of Singaporeans who enter JB on weekdays are intent on recreational, shopping, eating and holidaying purposes. Woodlands Checkpoint remained deserted throughout the day yesterday.

Businesses in JB must have lost thousands of ringgits. I can imagine the poor car wash workers filled with anxiety as Singapore cars, the mainstay of their business, stayed away.

Adding to the drama was the bus strike by bus drivers ferrying factory workers to Singapore at JB ICQ. They were protesting against the new JB outbound toll.

At this time on a Saturday traffic at Woodlands Checkpoint would be heavily congested but now it’s as deserted as yesterday. Again, JB businesses will suffer today.

The cynical will say people will soon get used to it, and it’ll be business as usual. Maybe but it won’t see the same level of enthusiasm for JB as before.

It was unwise of the Malaysian government to retaliate with a hike in the JB toll in a tit for tat against Singapore over the steep VEP increase. JB businesses need Singaporean customers. It’s as simple as that.

Singapore regime is not fearful of losing Malaysian tourist receipts that’s why it hiked the VEP. Unless employment prospects in Malaysia match Singapore’s, regime is also confident Malaysian workers will still flock here.

Even if they are forced to trudge along the Causeway to Singapore.

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