Tuesday, July 29, 2014

EDL toll: You can't have your cake and eat it too.

Oppositions complained over announced "toll rate" for EDL but it is free for use to Johoreans and help reduced traffic jam in Johor Baru.

For PKR and DAP politicians to oppose the VEP or new toll rates at the CIQ, it shows ignorance in governance and an irresponsible politicking that does not serve the interest of the nation.

The English idiomatic proverb, "You can't have the cake and eat it too" means one cannot or should not have or want more than one deserves or can handle, or that one cannot or should not try to have two incompatible things.

The proverb's meaning is similar to the phrases "you can't have it both ways" and "you can't have the best of both worlds." Conversely, in the positive sense, it refers to "having it both ways" or "having the best of both worlds."

The Malaysians or Singaporeans working in Singapore, earning Singapore income and pay Singapore tax, yet living in cheaper Johor Baru but using Singapore registered vehicles cannot have it both ways.

They can't have the cake and eat it too. So pay up.


In the previous posting, Singapore could tac, but Johor not allowed to tic, this blog complained that Singapore is raising the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) but MCA President seemed reluctant to collaborate to do a tic-for-tac.

Johor Pemuda UMNO called for a VEP of RM100 for Singapore-registered cars upon entry. It is almost equal to the Singapore charges of S$35 on Malaysian registered cars. While the relevant Johor exco member mentioned the VEP proposed charge as S$20.  

In his blog here, UMNO State Assemblymen for Kempas, Tengku Dato Putera felt it is only fair to do so. He wrote, "Singaporeans cannot drive Malaysian cars in Singapore and will be slapped with a hefty fine, we allow Malaysians to drive Singapore registered vehicles on Malaysian roads if it eases their purpose."

DAP Assemblymen for Senai, Shu Qi expressed reservation to the planned VEP on Singaporean registered car by citing the loss of business to Johor Baru retailers as reason.

This blog argued here that it is not quite relevant and beneficial to the government. Doubtful that it will significantly affect Singaporean vehicles or tourist coming to Johor. Not with the cheaper goods, petrol, hotel etc, added on furthermore by cheaper Ringgit Malaysia.

In a previous statement for a group of state assemblymen on July 9th [as reported by The Star here], Shu Qi expressed her reservation by seeking the revenue from VEP charged on Singaporean registered vehicles be channeled to improve the public transportation system in Johor Baru.

Address congestion

Shu Qi failed to remember that government had a plan to address the traffic jam and congestion at the causeway from spreading clogging up the whole of Johor Baru.

There was supposed to be a new scenic bridge planned to replace the causeway and that bridge would be connected to the CIQ and a highway that would disperse inbound traffic from Singapore and direct traffic to Singapore without causing congestion to the Johor Baru central business district.

The CIQ was planned as a node for a multi-modal transport system for road, buses and train that would help solved all the issues raised by Shu Qi. The problems faced by the congestion by both Malaysia and Singapore could also be solved.

Since Singapore did not cooperate to demolish the causeway, the plan was only for the Malaysian side to do a scenic bridge. Singapore not only refused to cooperate but sabotaged by scaring off a former sleepy Prime Minister to cancel construction.

Sleepy cancelled the bridge after the CIQ was completely constructed and the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) is already under construction.

Life has to go on for EDL. It was already completed four years ago, opened to the public for use but face resistance to charge toll.

Initially, Dato Najib said no toll was going to be charged and government was to  takeover the elevated highway but considering the large subsidy bill to maintain, it is fair for them to decide to revert back to the original plan to charge toll.

EDL "toll"

Federal Government announced the long overdue new "toll rate" to be charged at the CIQ with effect from August 1st, below:

Read it here in The Star.
Upon the announcement, it is PKR and The Malaysian Insider that is screaming now. Why should they? After all, the outbound fare of RM6.80 and inbound fare of RM 9.70 is similar with the second crossing of outbound and inbound fares of RM7.50.

Blogger Jebat Must Die here highlighted few important facts. The EDL highway is free for Johoreans to use within Johor Baru to avoid traffic jam but charged to vehicles it is meant for, which is vehicles  using the CIQ to go to or coming from Singapore.

He highlighted that 60,000 vehicle used the EDL out of which 80% are Singapore registered vehicles. It means government had to come up with RM1.1 billion (via privatisation to MRCB) to build a dedicated highway to address traffic congestion problems related with these Singaporean cars.

Whether the vehicles are owned by Singaporean or Malaysians, they are most likely employed in Singapore, get paid in Singapore dollar, and pay taxes to the Singaporean government, while Malaysia is providing the accommodation, cheaper lifestyle and transportation infrastructure.

Why should Malaysia be saddled with the problems of vehicles of Singapore employees and the burden to provide better public transportation system as requested by Shu Qi for the economic benefit to Singapore?

If Singapore wants Malaysians to work in Singapore and not willing to pay them on expatriate terms, the least the Singapore based companies could do is to provide for their housing, transportation and other basic necessities in Singapore.

Insensible PKR

Najib only promised Johoreans in Johor will not be burdened

PKR politicians, Steven Choong and Jimmy Puah are opposing the toll by drumming up support from Malaysian owning the Singaporean registered cars plying the causeway and using the facilities built by the Malaysian government.

These are kiasu Malaysians coming from all over Malaysia who wants the best of both world; Singapore salary but cheaper cost of living in Johor Baru. They want to earn more money from the higher exchange rate, enjoy cheaper goods in Johor but pay tax to Singapore.

By opposing the toll rate, PKR politicians are demanding that these Malaysian should enjoy free infrastructure and access to Malaysian roads and highway for the comfort of having a private transportation which in Singapore, they have to pay up their nose to afford such comfort.

Come on. If they are concern about cost, car pool and use public transport to help their Singapore government paymaster reduce congestion in Singapore.

Essentially, these PKR politicians are saying government should subsidise their comfortable lifestyle without any benefit for the government and the remaining rakyat. in Johor Baru bear the inconvenience.

Yet PKR took issue to accuse BN governments for over spending, high borrowing, highlighted contingent liabilities and questioned subsidies like BR1M.

To earn political brownie points from Malaysians earning a living in PAP Singapore but voting in Johor Baru voting districts, it is not alright for PKR and DAP to be inconsistent.

Considerate neighbours

Choong and Puah argued that road users must have the rights to other non-toll alternatives. That is ludicrous. No such alternative route will ever be available when it comes to crossing the borders. Singapore practise the same but PKR raised no issue against Singapore.
They claim it is not timely due to softening property market may actually turn soft. Perhaps at it's worst, migration out of Johor Baru could occur. Frankly, it is a much needed relief for Johoreans. Hopefully the skewed demography of non-Johoreans will be corrected. 

Singapore is also guilty of increasing financial inconvenience of these daily commuters to Singapore. Blame it also on them.

The immediate effect to Singapore will be a massive labour and skill shortage which would also soften their economy. Furthermore, it is not easy for Singapore to replace Malaysians with other nationalities.

When Singapore decide to sabotage our scenic bridge plan, raised VEP, or an upcoming toll increase, they never considered the implication to our side or bother to discuss. Neighbors are supposed to be concerned with each other but they are only concerned with their own.

It is high time Malaysia make them understand that whatever affects their neighbor will affect them too. It is time they absorb the cost of having Malaysians working in Singapore and not just lump it on Malaysia.

In the meanwhile, somebody has to pay for all that the Malaysian government has spent on but rakyat not getting the economic benefit. Definitely not the Johoreans in Johor.

Those highly paid for working in Singapore could certainly afford to sacrifice a few more Singapore dollars for Malaysia.


Anonymous said...

Owh... baru saya faham.. Terima kasih kerna memberi pencerahan keatas isu yg, walaupun tiada berkait secara langsung dengan saya, namun dapat memenafaatkan negara.

Kalau dah bekerja diTemasik, dibayar dalam ringgit Temasik tanpa menyumbang apa apa untuk Malaysia, sudah semestinya satu bentuk "cukai" atau bayaran harus dikenakan.

Didalam dunia sekarang mana ada "makan percuma"

kampong lad said...

'When Singapore decide to sabotage our scenic bridge plan'

why didn't najib include this (the cynic bridge) to be part of the deal in ktm's land swap?

Tok Mudim said...

Salam Bro

Dap & Pkr want Najib to extend our subsidies to the kiasus as well.
Imagine what they will do when these Ultra Chingkies guys rules Johore.

Cheers guys and Salam Aidil Fitri

Anonymous said...

Singapore parking lots are not cheap and since the public tranport in that island are very much cheaper, the only way to cut expenditures are by parking the car at home and go to work with the public transport. That is what the worker who live in Rawang do...they commute to the centre of KL every day using public tranport. No husle basle.

Anonymous said...

Singapore parking lots are not cheap and since the public tranport in that island are very much cheaper, the only way to cut expenditures are by parking the car at home and go to work with the public transport. That is what the worker who live in Rawang do...they commute to the centre of KL every day using public tranport. No husle basle.

Anonymous said...

Setuju sangat with the last sentence.

Anonymous said...

let say that foreign island is only acessible by air route and since there are locals who used to take daily flight to go to work, and since there are also foreign people from that island used to come down to JB to spend their money at those cheap retail stores, gov are therefore to provide cheaper flight? Is this what the oppos MP are suggesting? What about penangites from the main island who are using the ferry to go to work? Are these MP gonna suggest to LGE to provide cheaper ferry services?

maae said...

VEP : Bayaran mesti setanding nilai Sing Dollars. Cukup-cukup lah dengan kelemahan kita selama ini yang telah terlalu lama berkebajikan kepada rakyat Singapura. Mereka mendabik berpendapatan tinggi, jadi semua kemudahan perhidmatan di sini mesti di bayar.

Saman Polis Malaysia - berapa jumlah yang ingkar di bayar ?

Zaman Tun M mereka enggan melepaskan simpanan tabung pekerja - sudah selesai ?

Perjanjian bekalan air - kenapa tidak boleh di kaji semula atas semangat setia kawan? - keuntungan berlipat ganda di monopoli Singapura nyata di ketahui !

Semua ini hasil pendapatan untuk negara dan demi kebaikan pembagunan negeri - milik rakyat Johor.

Betul, kenapa Singapura sahaja boleh 'tac' ? Ekonomi Johor untuk faedah negara jua. Buat lah perkiraan demi menigkatkan kehidupan ke kelas 1. Rakyat Johor berhak mengecap kemewahan yang sudah di kecapi generasi dari kalangan mereka yang 'terpilih' sahaja.

Semua ini mesti bernoktah ! Bangsa cina terlalu banyak kerenah nya...

Anonymous said...

There has been much outcry recently over the announcement of the new toll to be imposed at the CIQ. However I think we need to have a balanced view and examine the the potential impact of all the possible alternatives to the imposition of the new toll.

The main alternative proposed is that a toll should be imposed on all users of the EDL. We Malaysians who loyally remain to work in Malaysia might be the silent majority but that does not mean that our financial burden should be ignored. We are already burdened with a higher income tax rate than Singapore, the impending implementation of GST and lower purchasing power due to the weak currency as well as local businesses which price their goods and services to cater to Singaporeans and Malaysians working in Singapore. We should not be further burdened with a toll.

While it is argued that the new toll at the CIQ would have the greatest impact on Malaysian Johoreans who commute to work, it must be put in context that those affected are only Malaysian in name. They neither contribute to the workforce in Malaysia nor pay any income tax in Malaysia. The argument that their income is largely spent in Malaysia is a weak one as such expenditure is all made for personal reasons. Such expenditure is no different from tourists who spend money in Malaysia.

The other alternatives to the new toll would be to either maintain the status quo whereby the government pays compensation to MRCB or for the government to acquire the EDL. However in both of these scenarios it is all the taxpayers in Malaysia who end up paying.

It was reported that at least 180,000 vehicles or about 80% of Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) motorists would not have to pay the proposed toll rates. These would predominantly be Malaysians whereas the remaining 20% would predominantly be Singaporeans taxpayers (who can be either Singaporeans, Singaporean permanent residents or Malaysians employed in Singapore). Therefore it can be seen that the current proposal is one which would impact the least number of Malaysians.

The announcement by Singapore's Land Transport Authority that they will match any toll imposed by Malaysia seems to be a threat made by Singapore to protect the interests of their citizens, permanent residents and workforce. Malaysia should not allow itself to be held to ransom and prevented from imposition of tolls when it is within it's sovereign right to do so. Any increase in Singaporean toll carried out by Singapore would be a unilateral action on it's part and should not be blamed on the Malaysian government.

Moving on to the issue of the proposed VEP by Malaysia, it must be highlighted that the VEP is to be imposed on foreign registered vehicles. The argument that Malaysians who are permanent residents in Singapore have no choice but to drive a Singaporean vehicle needs to be put in the proper context. Their compulsion by law to drive a Singaporean vehicle arises solely from their personal decision to take up permanent residency in Singapore. Their decision to reside in Malaysia for the lower cost of living and/or to retain their Malaysian citizenship is once again a personal decision. The VEP will impact Singaporean permanent residents (who might or might not also be Malaysian citizens) driving a Singaporean registered vehicle back from Singapore where they went to work and contribute to the Singaporean economy. The statement that the VEP is unfairly targeting Malaysians working in Singapore is therefore untrue since Malaysians who are working in Singapore but are not Singaporean permanent residents will not be affected by the VEP.

Singapore introduced the VEP scheme in 1973 to regulate the entry of foreign-registered vehicles and to control the number of vehicles on its roads. Is Malaysia not entitled to do the same? After all the traffic congestion during rush hours in Johor Bahru is worsening and Singapore registered vehicles are not imposed any road tax in Malaysia even if they are driven by Malaysians.

The said...

Yup, you are absolutely correct - you cannot have your cake and eat it too.

The hundreds of thousands of Malaysians who drove into Singapore to work are having the best of both worlds - high salaries in Singapore Dollars and cheap housing and food and daily necessities in Johor. They are literally having their cakes and eating them too.

On the other hand, the Singaporean drivers have the worst deal in the world - the highest car prices in the world and high petrol costs and other operating expenses. They pay through their noses to own cars because the SG government is trying to control car population to reduce congestion. Yet all these measures will not work if foreign vehicles come in without paying commensurate costs for clogging up Singapore roads.

So, yes, pay up you non-Singaporean car owners.

Anonymous said...

Singapore VEP levy: Malaysia motorists have at least 124 free days to enter Singapore, on weekends (52x2 days), public holidays (10 days) and 10 free weekdays per vehicle per year (if the family have 2 cars, it means they can enter 20 days). Increase from $20 to $35 is abt 75% increase.

Causeway toll: all cars have to pay 365 days a year. Increase from current 1 way rate of RM2.90 to 2-way rate of total RM16.50, not forgeting that Singapore Woodland CIQ will match the increase by Malaysia govt. Increase is more that 400%, which is not justified. Also for Malaysia privatised highways, the principle of user pay is violated and alternative free route is not given to motorists.

EDL users who do no use the causeway do not have to pay a single cent while the causeway users who use part of the EDL bear all the cost. It is like 20% user pays for the 80% of the users (who do not have to pay)


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