Singapore recently added toll charges to the Causeway, making travel to the region more expensive. Singapore followed suit. According to a member of the Land Transport Authority, Singapore’s policy is to do what Malaysia does. There are some specifics in the new toll (regarding the Eastern Dispersal Link [EDL] and the Malaysian Causeway Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex [CIQ]). Economists and businessmen are arguing that these tolls are resulting in a negative impact on Johor investment.
However, according to Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, the Singapore tolls will not have this effect. He believes that investors will find a way around it, like working virtually. In addition, he pointed out that property rentals in Johor were still significantly cheaper than renting in the republic.
But not everyone agrees with this. Nur Jazlan Mohamed – Pulai’s Johor MP – pointed out that Malaysians traveling to Singapore on a daily basis will “get hammered twice.” And, it will impact Johor’s businesses, as according to Boo Cheng Hau, “for an average car, it would cost RM33 the toll charges on both Iskandar and Woodlands CIQ. Even though it is only S$13, which may not be a burden for Singaporeans, it would certainly be a heavy burden for Johorean commuters.”
Thus it might be wise for both governments to figure out a solution together for further development. As far as Hau is concerned, this will include: “abolishment of tolls at the CIQs, speeding up MRT/LRT connections between Singapore and Iskandar Malaysia, and environmental protection of Johor Straits including the Forest City project.”