RFID Transport Works ministry minister disruptions

Despite being in operation for a while now, SmartTAG alternative RFID is still suffering from issues that are causing inconvenience to Malaysian road users on supported highways. So much so that former minister Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan has directly called out to Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Twitter in order to address the persisting issue.

In his tweet, Abdul Rahman expressed that the system’s efficiency is “so erratic” to the point that Malaysians are hesitant to use RFID lanes, contradicting its goal to make traffic flows more seamless on highways. He also pointed out Malaysians have tolerated it for the first few months to allow trial and error, but the issue has been going on for far too long.

Replying to the tweet, Loke clarified that RFID operations at highway toll plazas is not under the Ministry of Transport’s jurisdiction, but is instead handled by the Works Ministry’s statuary body Malaysian Highway Authority (LLM). Nevertheless, the minister assured that he will hold a discussion with the involved government body and even tagged its minister, Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi, in his reply. The Works Minister himself then responded to the thread the next morning, saying that he is fully aware of the RFID issue and has called on all parties involved to hold a discussion as soon as possible.

Introduced in 2018, RFID was introduced to replace Touch ‘n Go’s dated contactless payment system SmartTAG, which was initially planned to be fully retired around the same time. Rather than requiring a transmitter device, the newer system instead relies on a sticker that is embedded with a radiofrequency chip. This can be placed on a vehicle’s windscreen or headlight, provided that it is affixed correctly in order to ensure that no factors can cause any form of technical disruption when it is in use.

However, users have complained that the RFID readers have been unresponsive, which inevitably led to congestion as drivers are forced to switch lanes in order to use other available payment methods. The persisting issue even resorted to highway operators reinstating the supposedly retired SmartTAG system in efforts to ease the traffic flow at toll plazas.

Since the meeting between the involved parties has yet to happen, it is not known what the solution for this issue will be. For that, road users will have to wait a while longer until an announcement is made by either the Works Ministry or the Transport Ministry.

(Source: Twitter [1] [2] [3])

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