The Singapore Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today (Feb 11) outright rejected Malaysia’s proposal to have a single joint checkpoint centre for the cross-border bridge at Causeway. According to Malaysian paper The Star, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak raised the proposal to the Singapore government to cut down the waiting time to cross the bridge. The Singapore MHA however rejected the proposal without making an effort to discuss with their Malaysian neighbour:
“It is not possible for Singapore to do away with immigration and custom checks for departing travellers. Departure checks are a vital part of Singapore’s border security strategy. The Singapore Government will continue to work with Malaysia to explore other practical ways to facilitate travel between Singapore and Malaysia.”
Malaysia recently set up a committee headed by their Deputy Prime Minister to tackle the congestion at Causeway. Last Friday, Malaysia lowered their commercial vehicle levy at Tuas Link to RM50, but Singapore refused to implement any corresponding reductions saying that the Singapore side does not impose any goods vehicle levy.
Following Singapore’s response, Malaysia yesterday announced that they will lower off-peak toll charges by between 47-82% (depending on vehicle type) at Tuas Link to ease the congestion at Causeway. The Singapore government also lowered their toll charges as part of a “price-match” policy.