Channel NewsAsia

Malaysian opposition decries toll hike

Two main Malaysian opposition parties have come out in support of the bus drivers who staged a strike early Friday morning at the Johor checkpoint.

JOHOR BAHRU: Malaysian opposition parties Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) have come out in support of the bus drivers who staged a strike at the Johor checkpoint on early Friday morning (Aug 1).

The bus drivers went on strike to protest an increase of more than 400 per cent in toll charges at the Johor Bahru Customs which came into effect on Friday.

The Malaysian authorities confirmed to Channel NewsAsia reporter Sumisha Naidu later in the morning that the strike had ended. Chinese daily Sinchew in Malaysia reported that the traffic situation had returned to normal by 8am, after the local authorities promised to look into the revised toll charges.

DAP Johor chief Boo Cheng Hau posted a message on Facebook urging the Johor Bahru Malay Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Indian Chamber of Commerce to “untie and form an alliance with other non-governmental organisations to fight for a review of the toll hike”.

PKR deputy secretary-general Steven Choong posted several photos of him with the bus drivers on strike. “We are outside the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) with bas kilang (factory bus) drivers who refused to pay the new toll. They have caused a massive jam since 5am,” he wrote on Facebook.

He said the Malaysian authorities have promised the bus drivers an announcement on revised toll charges in a week’s time, but Mr Choong added that the bus drivers are prepared to stage a “huge protest” if the announcement was “not acceptable”.

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