Singapore-registered cars entering Malaysia will have to start paying RM20 (S$6.60) from today (Nov 1) onwards. The road charge will be paid for using Touch n’ Go card and levied at the Causeway and Second Link Bridge.
The Singapore Ministry of Transport cried foul even though it charges Malaysian vehicles for S$35 for a Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee. The Singapore authorities said that they will “match the road charge in some form”, signalling that they will likely increase the VEP.
A round trip from Singapore to Malaysia will cost S$19.60 for a Singapore vehicle from now on, and this will increase the cost of goods and services in Singapore as the island depends on Malaysia for food and material import.
Malaysia is Singapore’s key hinterland for cheap manufacturing products and a source of cheap labour. The increase in road charges between the two countries will inevitably raise business costs, resulting in higher inflation for Singapore. However, although government revenues for both countries will be bolstered, none of them intend to pass on the extra income to subsidise their local road users.
Although the leadership of Singapore and Malaysia, PM Lee Hsien Loong and Najib Razak, are close and the two often have face-to-face meetings, none of them are interested in talking about lowering cross-border transport costs.