MUAR: A reduction in the toll rate at the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Linkedua) is seen as a solution to easing traffic congestion at the Johor Causeway as well as boosting tourist arrivals from Singapore, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He said Malaysia and Singapore had agreed on the reduction of the toll rate, which was discussed by him and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at their recent retreat in the republic.
“A high-level committee will be established under the Deputy Prime Minister (Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) to look at the overall operations of the Johor Causeway. He will also be in touch with his counterpart in Singapore to find additional ways to stepping up the operations at the Johor Causeway.
“All these are being done with two aims – to help reduce traffic congestion and increase tourist arrivals,” he said at a press conference after meeting the people and launching a Johor village roads street lighting programme in Bukit Mor here today.
Also present at the event were Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin, and Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement today, said the commercial vehicle levy at Linkedua would be reduced to RM50 for vehicles entering and leaving Malaysia beginning Feb 13, down from the current rate of RM100 to RM200.
The toll rate outside peak hours at Linkedua, that is between 10am and 3pm and 11pm and 5am, for all vehicles, except motorcycles, would be reduced by between 47% and 82% according to the class of vehicles, it said.
Najib said the move would be vital in helping Malaysians working in Singapore to avoid the traffic congestion at the Johor Causeway.
“Some Malaysians are forced to wake up between 2.30am and 3am to avoid the congestion at the Johor Causeway, and this move will benefit them,” he said.
He also said about 50% of the foreign tourists who visited Malaysia came through Singapore and, as such, the move would help increase the tourist arrivals.
“With a reduction in the congestion, the tourists can come to Johor more easily, maybe go to Desaru and then return to Singapore. An increase in the tourist arrivals will bring economic spillovers to the people of Johor,” he said.
Najib said the Singapore government had agreed to Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) increasing its shuttle frequency from 26 trips to 31 daily.
This would enable KTMB to carry 1,500 additional passengers across the Johor Causeway, he added.