Malaysia — a haven for cheap (and maybe better) food and clothing, and just a stop away from us.
Most of us probably drive to our neighbouring country instead of taking a plane (???); unless you’re ridiculously rich and did not inherit the thriftiness of most Singaporeans.
That said, we will all be familiar with Malaysia’s ‘Touch N Go’ since young — seeing our parents tap the card at toll stations, or handing out ringgits to top up.
Arguably, the toll stations closely parallel our MRT stations; they simply have longer stops. Which is why it is no wonder that our countries EZ-Link decided to partner with Touch N Go.
The result? A card that combines transport in both countries — a Combi card.
With this amazing new card, we can get the best of both worlds and stop worrying about losing one card or the other.
We finally get to live a double life like Hannah Montana.
Why a double life? Because travelling in both countries will be so seamless, you’d feel like you’re a resident in both (unless you’re a Malaysian or Singaporean PR, then you are).
With merely one card, we can pay for not only the highway tolls, but ERP in Singapore and parking fees in both countries. I know it’s half an EZ-Link card, but please do not attempt to use it on MRT stations during peak hour and trigger others.
And the double life just gets better. Give and take a few years, and the card will even be able to pay for our shopping and dining experiences — on either land.
That will definitely be a lot of money in a single card — it is basically a gold mine for stealing at this point.
The technicalities of technology aside, how does the card work?
For starters, it pays for the different currencies effortlessly because it stores both currencies. That means that when you top up the card with SGD, the amount stored is in SGD; you can’t change the currency you put in unless you’re secretly a genius.
Essentially, that means that you still have to head to the money converters to get the legit ringgits to top up your card.
Then again, some of us would like that because we won’t be held hostage by the conversion rate and change our money when Singapore dollars go to a new high (if it ever…).
It all sounds like sunshines and butterflies, but what happens if we are clumsy enough to lose the card? Regrettably, there has not been a publicly issued solution for the problem.
All we have to do now is pray hard that it doesn’t miraculously drop out of our wallets; and even if it did, a kind soul will be the one to pick it up.
Though the executive of Touch N Go did say that the card will make transactions safer, there isn’t a clear way to see that as of yet.
That being said, there is still a handful of months to the fourth quarter of this year, which is the card’s due release.
So as tiresome as waiting is, perhaps this unprecedented release will be worth the wait.
Or maybe, by then, someone else would have come out with an app that can do that. I mean, did you know that you can use your phone for public transport now?
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