SINGAPORE: Singapore wants an open and liberal transport policy and will continue to match any increase in Malaysia's toll rates, Channel NewsAsia reported.
Quoting Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, the report said the long-standing policy is to ensure Malaysia takes into consideration Singapore's response whenever it plans to raise toll.
Khaw was responding to a question in Parliament on whether the ministry will adjust the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee and toll charges for vehicles entering Singapore.
The question came in response to Malaysia's intention to charge RM20 for each foreign vehicle entering Johor from Singapore.
Khaw said Singapore has consistently advocated open and liberal transport links and connectivity with Malaysia.
For example, the toll at the Causeway and Second Link were introduced in 1998 only in response to Malaysia's decision to levy toll at both crossings.
"The same principle will apply in our response to Malaysia's impending road charge," he was quoted as saying.
"If it discriminates against Singapore-registered vehicles, we will match it in some form. We will confirm whether and how we will respond, after Malaysia has implemented their road charge and the details become available."
Malaysia is currently conducting a trial run for the implementation of VEP for foreign vehicles entering Malaysia via the causeway from Singapore from June 1 until July 15.
The RM20 VEP charge would only be imposed from July 16 while the registration of vehicles for VEP will be until the end of the year.
Presently, Singapore's VEP charges for foreign-registered cars is S$35 (S$1=RM2.95) per day, and S$40 for Goods Vehicle Permit fee for foreign-registered goods vehicles per calendar month.
Each foreign car is given 10 free days per year, no charges during the weekends when entering the republic between 5pm and 2am from Monday to Friday. – Bernama