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COMMENT | End Touch 'n Go's toll and transport monopoly
COMMENT | Accidents of history have a way of biting us in the back - repeatedly. One such is the granting of a monopoly to Touch ‘n Go as the only non-cash payment system on Plus and other highways throughout Malaysia from 1997 - when credit cards and debit cards were already available.

If we get rid of this needless monopoly which is over a quarter of a century old, we could adopt technology which will completely eliminate the need for toll booths and considerably improve traffic flow and reduce jams. But first, some history.

When main highway operator Plus stopped accepting cash payments for tolls in March 2020, blaming Covid-19, it led to Touch ‘n Go becoming the sole payment system on all highways - and gave it a monopoly on highway payment systems - and all kinds of abuses too.

I had occasion to write about one of them, where I estimated that the renewal of Touch ‘n Go cards alone could get them as much as RM270 million in extra income per year because of unfair practices and processes such as slow/non-existent refunds for expired cards, shorter expiry periods and the hassles they cause.

This elicited a response through a letter from Plus which denied that it has ownership links with Touch ‘n Go...

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