Public should be free to choose how to pay tolls, says PM

PUTRAJAYA: The public should be free to choose what method of payment to use at tolls, says the Prime Minister, adding that he has asked for Works Minister to discuss this with concessionaires.

“The Cabinet in its meeting today has also decided that any future matters that involve the public having to make payments must also be referred to it (Cabinet),” said Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic) after launching the Agricommodity Tour on Wednesday night (Jan 19).

He said the issue of toll payments using the Radio Frequency Identification technology system (RFID) was discussed in the Cabinet meeting earlier.

The PM noted the RFID facility was introduced to ensure smooth, efficient and fast payments were made at toll plazas.

“The Cabinet was of the opinion that RFID usage should be one of the options and consumers must be given the freedom on how they want to make payments.”

The Prime Minister pointed out that when Touch ‘n Go as well as smartag facilities were introduced, consumers were still given the option to pay toll via cash.

“Consumers should not be pressured to use the system. If they are convinced with the system, they will migrate,” he said.

On Dec 16, 2021, the Ministry of Works said toll transactions using RFID technology for private light vehicles (Class 1) would be implemented at the Juru route in Penang to Skudai in Johor on the North-South Highway starting Jan 15, 2022.

RFID allowed highway users to enjoy a smoother trip using touchless toll transactions at RFID lanes where they could drive through at a speed of 30 km/h.

It also offered digital cash security and cashless top-ups through the use of Touch ‘n Go eWallet without having to visit top-up counters.

Online media and netizens had claimed that the traffic at several toll plazas like at Bandar Seri Putra, Bangi and Sungai Besi had become congested following the implementation of RFID.