All for public transport: The four assemblyman who want the state government to use the levy collected to improve public transport in the state. (From left) Cheo, Wong, Chen and Liow.
JOHOR BARU: The levy collected from foreign registered cars at the Johor border crossings of the causeway and Second Link should be used to improve the public transportation system in the state.
Four assemblymen feel that the public transportation in the state was still not up to mark especially with regards to connectivity.
The spokesman for the group, Wong Shu Qi, who is the Senai assemblyperson, said that they regretted the action from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) to increase the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) from S$20 (RM50) to S$35 (RM87.50) as it would adversely affect Malaysians who travelled frequently between both countries.
The group agreed that Malaysia should come up with a border charge on foreign vehicles that could be used to improve the state’s public transport.
“We do not want the border charge to be merely a new income for the federal government with no view of giving benefit for the local people,” she said, adding that the new entry charge on foreign vehicles proposed by the Malaysian government must not just be retaliation towards Singapore’s recent decision to increase the VEP.
Wong added that the assemblymen understood that both Singapore and Johor Baru were facing traffic congestion problem with the increasing number of private vehicles and certain policies must be implemented to curb the deteriorating traffic condition.
Meanwhile, Stulang assemblyman Andrew Chen Kah Eng said that people working in Singapore were still parking haphazardly all over the place in the city or at the entrances of housing estates daily as the buses do not reach all the housing estates.
“I urge the government to be transparent in their plans to impose the levy and also gather feedback from the people as there are many grey areas and people are confused,” he said, adding that all monies collected should be used in the state.
He suggested that the money collected could be used to expand the present Malaysian Automatic Clearance System (MACS) which allowed for faster clearance for foreigners at the check points.
“We can also use the money collected to provide free shuttle service between Johor Baru and Singapore,” he said, adding that another suggestion was for the money collected from the levy to be used to pay off Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCH) for the construction of the EDL highway instead of paying annual compensation.
On the bus services, Pengkalan Rinting assemblyman Cheo Yee How said that although there was feeder buses provided by Bus Iskandar, there was still a problem due to the frequency and not all housing estates were connected.
“Some of these buses only ply on hourly basis in certain routes and people cannot be waiting for so long,” he added.
Also present was Johor Jaya assemblyperson Liow Cai Tung.