Despite promising to “price-match” Malaysia’s cross border levies and charges last year, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday (Feb 4) went back on his words saying that he will not reduce any charges after Malaysia reduced their Goods Vehicle Levy from S$68 (RM200) to S$17 (RM50):
“The GVL is a Malaysian customs charge; it is not a toll. It is applied to all goods vehicles, regardless of nationality. There is no such equivalent at Singapore’s end. We do not impose any GVL.”
The Singapore Transport Minister also praised the Malaysian Transport Minister saying that their government made the decision very quickly, right after he was officially informed by the latter.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has earlier vowed to increase road charges whenever there is an increase from Malaysia. An ex-Malaysian, Minister Khaw Boon Wan implemented a “reciprocal road charge” of S$6.40 in January 2017. Due to the two governments raising toll charges, a round trip from Singapore to Malaysia now cost S$19.60 for a Singapore-registered cars and S$41.40 for Malaysian cars.
The traffic jam at Causeway however did not alleviate despite the increase in cross border charges. The Singapore Immigration Checkpoint Authority apparently is short on manpower as there are still unattended stations even during peak hour period. For holiday period, the queue to cross the 1km Causeway Bridge takes up to 4 hours, with the jam mostly on the Singapore’s side.
The cross border charges have been a huge cash cow for both governments, with Singapore alone taking in an estimated S$100,000 in tax revenue every day.