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Malaysia forms special task force to investigate JB checkpoint blockade

The Johor Police Chief said police have recorded the statements of 40 people and once investigations are done, a report will be submitted to the deputy public prosecutor. 

SINGAPORE: Following last Friday's (Aug 1) protest by Malaysian bus drivers at the Johor checkpoint, the Malaysian authorities have formed a special task force to commence investigations.

The protest was sparked by new toll charges imposed by Malaysia. Announced by the Malaysian Highway Authority last week, the new toll charges for vehicles heading into Singapore are RM6.80 (S$2.65), RM10.20, RM13.60, RM3.40 and RM5.50 for Class 1 to Class 5 vehicles, respectively. Only motorcyclists are exempted from paying toll.

At a news conference on Wednesday (Aug 6), the Johor Police Chief said police have recorded the statements of 40 people and once investigations are done, a report will be submitted to the deputy public prosecutor. If they are found to be connected to the case, they may be charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act and Road Transport Act.

Some members of the public have observed that following the increased toll charges, there has been a 10 to 20 per cent increase in the number of people taking buses across the Causeway.

They said the situation was better on Wednesday (Aug 6), but in the past two days, they had to wait for up to five buses to pass, before they could board. They think this could be because more people are taking buses instead of driving.

Private bus company, Causeway Link, said that with higher toll charges driving up business costs, it may adjust bus fares. Half a year ago, the company had already planned to expand its CW5 bus service, which covers the Johor to Newton Circus route. It will submit its application to the authorities in one or two weeks' time.  

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