EDL toll: The Malaysian government is too greedy, the Singapore government is too kiasu
Budget speech (Part 3) by DAP National Political Education Director and MP for Kluang Liew Chin Tong
Released on 4th November 2014
Since the sky-rocketing Eastern Disperse Link (EDL) toll hike at Sultan Iskandar Custom, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) on 1st August, Malaysians workers who commute daily to Singapore or Johor Bahru have been adversely affected.
The toll hike caused the neighbouring Singapore government to impose a tit-for-tat toll hike on 1st October, further burdening the people by increasing the toll rate tenfold.
The hike has revealed the greed of the Malaysian government and the EDL operator Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) who demand higher toll revenue.
The government must abolish the EDL toll in order to relieve the financial suffering of the people.
To mitigate the impact of the toll hike, the government could build a walkalator across the Johor-Singapore Causeway to allow Malaysian workers to travel to and from Singapore by foot.
Currently, many Malaysians do walk across the Causeway during traffic jams. Building a walkalator is not unheard of as it is implemented in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong.
The walkalator is a low cost option which the workers could use to avoid the notorious traffic jams and subsequently, increase their productivity and have a better work life balance.
Nevertheless, the government should order MRCB to provide free buses since it stands to reap more than RM2 million monthly profit following the CIQ toll collection. It is estimated that MRCB could gain RM13 million monthly income as compared to the previous RM 11 million compensation from government.
The RM 2 million “windfall” should be utilized to ease the rakyat’s burden by providing free buses, not for the cronies’ personal pocket.
The CIQ toll should be abolished once and for all for the benefit of the people.
Liew Chin Tong