Media Statement by Johore DAP Policy Director and Senai State Assemblyperson Wong Shu Qi on 12 Aug 2014 (Tuesday):
Is MRCB “collecting tax” from Malaysian migrant workers in Singapore on behalf of the BN government?
MRCB and BN government must clarify the logic behind collecting EDL toll charge at CIQ complex especially after what MRCB Group Chief Operating Officer Imram Salim said in a press conference together with Datuk Ismail Md Salleh, Director-General of Malaysian Highway Authority.
According to Sin Chew Daily, he was quoted as saying that Malaysians who work in Singapore are earning much higher monthly income while enjoying high currency exchange rate.Furthermore, those Malaysian migrant workers are not paying tax in Malaysia. Hence, he sees this group of Malaysians is using highways for free.
Imran Salim justified the rationale of collecting EDL toll charge at CIQ since most Johor Bahru citizens will not be affected.
BN government must clarify if this is the logic behind collecting EDL toll charge and MRCB must explain, is the highway concessionaire “collecting tax” from Malaysian migrant workers in Singapore on behalf of the BN government under the current context?
Second, BN government must make the concession agreement public as soon as possible since there are currently two sets of figures announced by different people.
Minister of Prime Minister Department Datuk Abdul Wahid Omar revealed last week that the acquisition cost for government was RM 1.7 billion while the building cost of the EDL highway was RM 1.3 billion.
However, Datuk Ismail Md Salleh said yesterday that the acquisition cost is actually RM 2.13billion! Malaysians are entitled to know which one is the real number and what is the agreement between MRCB and BN government written in the contract.
Third, I must remind the BN government that it’s not only those who are working in the republic and commuting daily is affected. Parts of those who are adversely affected are actually local businesses that export agricultural product, daily groceries and logistic companies.
While the Malaysian Highway Authority argues that 86% of the 60,000 cars using CIQ are actually Singapore registered vehicles, and should be owned by Singaporeans, expatriates and Malaysians who are working in Singapore, the 8,000 Malaysia-registered vehicles could be mainly our local businesses and transporter.
The situation is very clear that BN government is robbing money away from people’s pocket just to please their cronies again.
Wong Shu Qi