[UPDATE: It has recently been announced in Parliament that the 10% surcharge of Touch ‘n Go card at parking facilities will be abolished in stages.
Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) also did not find Touch n’ Go card to be a monopoly as there are other e-payment cards in the market.]
Recently, #MansuhTouchnGo trended as the number one tweeted topic on Malaysian Twitter after social media users decided to protest against the electronic payment system.
The protest was triggered by PLUS’s announcement that the reload service will no longer be available at toll plazas.
The responses then led to an avalanche of other complaints against Touch ‘n Go by Malaysians who haven’t had an avenue to voice out how they were dissatisfied with the company’s overall service.
Problems highlighted included the extra charges incurred when users used Touch ‘n Go to pay for parking (10% surcharge) or reloaded their card at petrol stations and convenience stores (50 cents).
The fact that these reload stations are usually offline and the fact that the card expires if not used for over a year was also a big source of anger.
It was so bad, that even a petition was launched to pressure Touch ‘n Go into improving their service.
TouchNGo is the stupidest monopoly system I have ever seen in any country ever. Having almost all Malaysians using it but still inconvenient. No topups at tolls, lack of self reload stations at rnr and train stations, high service charge at Petronas, 7e #MansuhTouchNGo—  (@ouelily) November 4, 2019
kad touch n go, ada tempoh ye, bila dah habis tempoh, walaupun dalam tu ada balance lagi, tapi tak boleh transfer ke kad baru, nak minta refund, kena pergi ke tempat specific dia.. lepastu kena beli kad touch n go baru 10 ringgit, tapi dalam kosong, kena topap.. huh, kapitalis— SaraHermosa🏹🦋 (@sarahzamri) November 4, 2019
Sabtu lepas aku nak naik LRT. Aku pergi 7E, Mynews even dekat LRT station tu sendiri semua offline. Dah lah offline, kena buat sendiri dekat kiosk. Ada sekali aku top up dekat kiosk, duit telan, benda tak masuk kad. Memalam call centre tapi dorang takboleh refund on the spot 🙄— _Dayana (@DayanaAbdRahim) November 4, 2019
You see how slow they responded. Dah telan duit aku dekat RM30 lebih, and bila buat report on 15 May, 4 Nov baru respond balik. Wow you guys are so busy @MyTouchnGo #MansuhTouchNGo i don’t need that RM30 but your system is getting shit and shit pic.twitter.com/2kcVWCl2eX— Farah (@NFarahanisss) November 4, 2019
The complaints led people to question why Malaysians have ONLY Touch ‘n Go as a toll payment option.
Especially when we have a lot of payment options in the country, including PayWave that functions very similarly to Touch ‘n Go and is free of service charge.
We better start #MansuhTouchNGo since we have better alternatives for cashless payment in our country. Paywave is easier, better and free of charge. Why Malaysian have to pay extra/service charge to use shitty cashless system like TnG? GUNA PAYWAVE TAKDAK SERVICE CHARGE PUN LA— IПJΛПGПΛƬIӨП (@InjangNation) November 4, 2019
It turns out PLUS already made a move to create alternative toll payment systems but ended up getting into a legal battle with CIMB over this.
The PLUS’ RFID system is an open payment platform which allows the use of credit and debit cards, as well as e-wallets (including Touch ‘n Go’s e-wallet) to pay for tolls.
They launched the system two months ago, AFTER Touch ‘n Go started their own RFID pilot programme earlier in April.
CIMB Group Holdings Bhd, the parent company of Touch ‘n Go reportedly took PLUS Malaysia Bhd to court in December last year to stop the highway concessionaire from launching PLUS RFID.
Apparently, CIMB and PLUS had signed a joint venture agreement in 1998 that resulted in the setting up of Touch ‘n Go Sdn Bhd.
Under this agreement, CIMB has a 52% stake in Touch ‘n Go, while PLUS and a company called MTD Equity Sdn Bhd hold 28% and 20% respectively.
However, it seems that the two company have reached a legal settlement.
And although information of the settlement hasn’t been made public, it seems as though it was in PLUS’ favour considering the fact that their RFID system is set to be rolled out by the end of the year.