Transport and logistic providers in Malaysia welcomed with open hands the decision by the Land Transport Authority of Singapore to revise toll charges for vehicles entering and leaving the republic via the Woodlands Checkpoint effective 1st February 2018. Toll charges for vehicles entering the Republic through Woodlands checkpoint will be removed, while all vehicles (except motorcycles) leaving Singapore via Woodlands will see reduced charges.
This was in line with Singapore's long-standing policy of matching Malaysia's toll rates. Malaysia previously announced the removal of toll charges at the Causeway for the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) since 1st January 2018. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had announced previously in October that the EDL toll fee would be removed.
The EDL is an 8 kilometres long and ends at the Causeway from Johor Bharu. Toll fees were collected since 2014 from vehicles going into as well as leaving Singapore, even if some of those vehicles did not pass through the highway, which had been constructed by a firm linked to the Malaysian government.
Pan-Malaysian Lorry Owners Association (PMLOA) President Anthony Tan said that Singapore's move would help to improve and increase cross-border trade between Malaysia and Singapore."It will decrease the cost of sending goods to and from Singapore," he said.Tan hopes the Malaysian government will also reduce or abolish toll charges at the Second Link Crossing in Tanjung Kupang, Johor. Tan said trucks from the central and northern parts of Malaysia and north of Johor such as Batu Pahat, Muar and Senai could use the Second Link while those from the central, east and south of Johor could use the Causeway.He said there were about 3000 Malaysian-registered trucks using the Johor Causeway daily.
Johor South SME Association President Teh Kee Sin said the revision was good news for thousands of Malaysians who commuted to the republic daily from Johor Bharu.Malaysian Indian Commerce Association President P. Sivakumar said the impact would be especially good for the development of the special economic zone Iskandar Malaysia.
Previously, car owners paid S$3.80 (RM11.24) and S$2.70 (RM7.99) when leaving and entering Singapore. From 1st of February, they will only need to pay S$1 (RM2.96). The accumulation of savings could add up to quite a substantial amount considering it is more than 50% reduction in price. Vans and light goods vehicles will pay S$1.50 (RM4.44) for a return trip instead of S$9.80(RM 28.99) while heavy goods vehicles will pay S$2 (RM5.92) instead of S$13(RM 38.45). Taxis will pay 50 (RM1.48) cents instead of S$3.30 (RM9.76) and buses will pay 80 cents (RM2.37) instead of the initial S$5.30 (RM15.68).
The LTA also reminded motorists to ensure that there is sufficient value in their Autopass cards before driving through the checkpoints, in order to minimise longer queues at the toll gates.“Motorists who evade payment of the tolls, fees and charges are liable to pay a composition sum of SGD50, while repeat offenders will have to pay SGD100. Motorists who do not pay the composition sum may be charged in court and are liable to a fine not exceeding SGD1000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months for the first offence," said LTA in a statement.
However, LTA did not indicate any changes to the tolls rates for vehicles going in and out from Singapore from the Tuas checkpoint. It is understood that the revised toll charges only apply to the Woodlands checkpoint only.