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Date [ 2014-09-26, 06:13 ]

Taking a look at the volume of traffic after the hike.

(Kuala Lumpur=Koreanpress) Nancy Joseph = The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore announced that foreigners driving into Singapore will have to pay higher entry permits fees at the border starting August 1, 2014.

Drivers of foreign registered cars will have to pay S$35 (about RM88.55) for a daily permit, up from S$20. Those who are driving goods vehicle will have to fork out S$40 for a monthly permit, up four times from the previous charge of S$10.

In view of the above, the Malaysian government then decided to implement the Vehicles Entry Permit (VEP) fee for all foreign vehicles entering Johor. Yet before it happened, another announcement was made that the new Causeway toll rates would see a hike of almost 470% for vehicles travelling between Malaysia and Singapore through the Custom & Immigration Quarantine Complex (CIQ).

It is reported that almost 18,000 or more than 80% of Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL) users were Johor Bahru residents and they were not affected by the toll rate increase.

The VEP proposal to impose fees on foreign cars entering into Johor had been forwarded by the Johor State Government to the Federal Government at a proposed rate of RM50 or S$20 per vehicles. In actual fact, the proposal was not new as the previous state administration had suggested a similar hike due to the high volume of Singaporean cars using the country’s road.

Now in implementation, the new VEP and toll rates imposed by the governments of Singapore’s and Malaysia is expected to reduce the number of vehicles crossing between Singapore and Malaysia. However, it is expected that the decrease in number of vehicles is only temporary as both sides are in the midst of adjusting to the new rates imposed by Singapore and Malaysia.

Nonetheless, the latest occupancy rates of Johor as of August 2014 by Malaysian Association of Hotels, had shown that the occupancy rate for the month had declined by 15% to 62%. This might be attributed to the increased toll charges, but another reason put forward for the decline of the occupancy rates is due to the missing MH370 incident where passengers from China accounted most of the passengers inside the flight and could have contributed  to a drop in China’s tourists visiting Malaysia.

According to the Tourism and Culture Ministry’s secretary-general, Dato. Dr. Ong Hong Peng, the number of tourists from China to Malaysia had dropped by 19% for the month of April 2014. This may have resulted in the total number of visitor arrivals, resulting in the lowering of hotel occupancy rates in Malaysia as a whole.


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