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Causeway toll ‘tit-for-tat’ will hurt Malaysia more than Singapore, The Economist says….But we say: What say you PM @NajibRazak?

October 24, 2014

Despite protests by transport companies and frequent commuters of the Causeway, Malaysia raised the toll fees for cars leaving the country at its southern gateway in August with taxis paying RM8.20 for a round-trip while heavy good vehicles are charged RM33.30. — File pic

Despite protests by transport companies and frequent commuters of the Causeway, Malaysia raised the toll fees for cars leaving the country at its southern gateway in August with taxis paying RM8.20 for a round-trip while heavy good vehicles are charged RM33.30. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 24  MMO― Malaysia has more to lose in the “tit-for-tat” Causeway toll fee hike than Singapore, The Economist said in its latest print edition, pointing out that the bridge road between the two Southeast nations accounts for roughly half of this country’s foreign visitors.

The London-based international current affairs news weekly also pointed out that the higher rates hurts the pockets of Malaysians travelling across the Causeway for work.

To make things worse, The Economist noted that Johor lawmakers are now also threatening an additional levy on Singaporean drivers in Malaysia.

“Malaysia has most to lose from the tit-for-tat,” the weekly said in an article in its latest print edition.

Despite protests by transport companies and frequent commuters of the Causeway, Malaysia raised the toll fees for cars leaving the country at its southern gateway in August with taxis paying RM8.20 for a round-trip while heavy good vehicles are charged RM33.30.

The Singapore Land Transport Authority then announced in September that it would match Malaysia’s prices on the oldest bridge linking the two countries that were once part of the same federation, adding that it would revise the rates if and when Malaysia does.

Johor’s lawmakers have sounded warning bells over the hike, noting that the 470 per cent increase will pose a strain on small traders, besides hitting Malaysia’s tourism and the Iskandar development region, which is heavily reliant on its closeness to Singapore for investments.

“The Iskandar Development Region… is as good as gone. There will definitely be an impact on the national economy,” Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong said recently.

The Economist agreed the toll hikes would affect Johor’s burgeoning Iskandar region, noting that early optimism in the returns from the economic zone is already fading amid the looming housing glut.

“Malaysia has poured money and effort into Iskandar,” the weekly said.

By developing the economic zone, which spans an area about three times the size of Singapore, The Economist said Putrajaya had hoped to “snag a little more of the magic dust” from its rich neighbour.

The plan worked for a time, the weekly said, noting that rich Singaporeans were happy at having a cheaper option to park their investments.

“Until recently, Iskandar’s cheap condominiums seemed like good bets when Singapore’s own property prices were shooting up.

“Singapore hopes factories can move to Johor, freeing up space and resources for higher-value businesses,” The Economist said.

Malaysians in the meantime, it said, continued to commute daily from Johor, reporting to jobs across the Causeway where they could earn in Singaporean currency.

But housebuilding in Iskandar has now outpaced job creation, The Economist said, a phenomenon that observers have agreed will soon result in a property glut.

Citing Malaysian data, Singapore’s main newspaper Straits Times reported recently that there are 118,191 homes under construction in Johor, and another 168,371 planned as at the fourth quarter of last year.

Adding to fears of the looming oversupply of homes, The Economist pointed out that the suspension of corporate-ownership rules that favour the Malays, Malaysia’s ethnic majority, in Iskandar has also angered the locals.

Their grievances, the weekly said, cannot be ignored, particularly as the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government had lost significant numbers to the opposition during the last general election.

“At present the costs are manageable,” The Economist wrote in reference to the Causeway toll prices, quoting a taxi driver on the Causeway.

“But what will happen next year?” it asked.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/causeway-toll-tit-for-tat-will-hurt-malaysia-more-than-singapore-the-econom#sthash.V4RNDalH.dpuf

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One Comment leave one →
  1. najib manaukau permalink
    October 25, 2014 4:11 am

    Malaysia needs the money and also the Singapore dollars that the Singapore tourists will bring, period. Especially now when the country is in deficit and is heavily in debt most of all about to go bankrupt. This is just only the beginning of what else will come, therefore Najib just make hay while the sun is still shinning or shall I say just jet around while you can as your days in Putrajaya are numbered. Even though you can, for the next life time or two, afford to jet around but then you cannot carry the same number undeclared luggages. But I supposed by now you should have, just like the repugnant and avaricious Mahathir did during his time as PM.
    Sorry Dr. Dr Dzulkefly can you please tell me, if it is true that in the early days of Umno that the non Malays were not allowed to become members of Umno or to be admitted to Umno. If that is the case how come most of the Umno members, to day, are half breeds hence they are not Malays right ?
    What do you get when you mate a horse with a donkey ? You get a hinny right, not a horse or a donkey similarly when you mate a tiger with a lion the outcome is a tigon, not a tiger or a lion. Or when a European mate with an Asian, whether a Chinese, Indian or a Malay, only an eurasian is born not a European or a Chinese, Indian or a Malay. And when an Indian marries a Malay a mamak or a mixed blood is borne, not an Indian or a Malay ? How is it the repugnant Mahathir and his descendants are considered as Malays and even allowed to be become members of Umno.
    Even worse a lot of the half breeds became the presidents of Umno ? Is it because without these half breeds Umno is unable to find capable leaders to lead the organization and it also must be for that reasons Umno make rules that allow these half breeds to become members. So it must be saved to say that Umno is to day having half breeds and not a Malay organization any more ?

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