S'pore may not impose reciprocal road charge if M'sia proves no discrimination, says Liow

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KUALA LUMPUR (Jan 19): Singapore may cancel its plan to impose reciprocal road charge (RRC) of S$6.40 on all foreign-registered cars entering the island state, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

However, Malaysia must first prove that there was no intent to discriminate against Singapore-registered cars when it applied a road charge of RM20 (S$6.40) per entry for non-Malaysia-registered cars entering Johor last year, he added.

"As I have mentioned before, we are not discriminating against Singapore-registered vehicles. The road charge (for non-Malaysia-registered cars) will also be implemented at all other (land) checkpoints into the country by the middle of this year," Liow told reporters on the sidelines of the Malaysia-French High Speed Rail Seminar here today.

He said Malaysia plans to impose a road charge at other border entry points with Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia.

Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Jan 16 that all foreign-registered cars will have to pay a reciprocal road charge of S$6.40 when they enter Singapore via the Tuas or Woodlands Checkpoints starting Feb 15.

"The RRC mirrors Malaysia's road charge of RM20 (S$6.40) per entry for non-Malaysia-registered cars entering Johor, which was implemented on Nov 1, 2016," LTA was quoted as saying.

Earlier at the seminar, Liow witnessed the signing of a French-Malaysia joint statement on land public transport cooperation between Malaysia's Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar and France's Minister of State for Transport, Marine, Affairs and Fisheries Alain Vidalies.

The joint statement serves to affirm both parties' commitment to strengthen their cooperation in the field of land public transport.

Under the statement, both parties express their wish to share their experience on their projects and deepen their cooperation in order to address the challenges they are facing.

Both parties also declare their intention to cooperate in the area of land public transport in the fields of regulation, policies, planning, economic models, technologies, training and operations.

The aspects of cooperation include financing, network and urban planning, and safety systems and operations.

"Both parties express their willingness that the implementation of the cooperation includes notably bilateral dialogues, expert exchange and training programmes, information exchanges, workshops and seminars," the joint statement read.

The statement also mentioned relevant partners, including government entities, agencies and companies, scientific and technical research bodies as well as private companies, would be invited to join the cooperation, when appropriate, and under the umbrella of the parties.