14th General Election (GE14)
A general view of the Bukit Kayu Hitam toll plaza. Pic by ILI SHAZWANI.

BUKIT KAYU HITAM: The government's move to abolish Bukit Kayu Hitam toll plaza might be deemed as insignificant by some quarters, but it removes a huge financial burden off the regular border crossers.

A shop assistant who declined to be named said she spent about RM300 monthly for toll fees to commute from her house in Jitra to the workplace and the amount was almost a quarter of her income.

She said she had been commuting from Jitra to the town at least thrice a day for the past few years as she had to fetch her son from school and send him to daycare centre before returning to work during lunchtime.

"Imagine that I have to pay RM3.60 every time I exit Bukit Kayu Hitam toll plaza and another RM1.60 at Jitra toll plaza.

"For those earning just enough to get by monthly, having to pay RM300 on toll fees alone is such a burden and I cannot express how relief I am when I heard the good news announced by the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) during the (tabling of ) 2018 Budget yesterday.

"The toll abolishment, which will start early next year, can ease our burden and the money spent on the toll fares could be utilised for other expenses such as my child's education," she said.

Meanwhile, another regular border crosser, Darwish Effendey, 30, lauded the move which could draw more tourists to the state especially with the extension of the operation at Malaysia-Thailand border checkpoint here.

Darwish, who owned a small garment shop, described the move as timely as many of his customers from the neighbouring country complained of having to pay toll right after having their travelling documents verified at the Bukit Kayu Hitam Immigration, Customs, Quarantine and Security (ICQS) Complex.

"This is a good move considering that there is no toll imposed when we enter the southern Thailand through the border checkpoint here.

"I believe not only can we draw more tourists to enter the country via border checkpoint but we can also encourage more people from the neighbouring states to enter Thailand from here," he said.

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