RFID, which is the abbreviation of Radio Frequency Identification. The RFID uses an electromagnetic field to identify and track tags attached to the object or sticker. The components that make the RFID are a tiny radio transponder, a radio received and a transmitter. Lately, the RFID has created a furore among the car lovers in our country. It had been a furore as the Malaysian government had decided to increase the RFID toll booth in every major highway in our country. Previously only a few toll concessionaires had fixed the RFID in their toll booth, limited to one lane. With these government regulations, most highway operators are expected to increase the toll booth altogether, bringing an end to the Touch n Go card commonly used in the toll booth. The RFID is a simple sticker, and it will cost around RM35 where it needs to be fixed on the left-hand side of the car. The amount for the RFID can be reloaded via Touch n GO e-wallets. What are the merit and demerits of using RFID in the toll booth?

The principal reason for implementing RFID is to reduce congestion in the toll booth. Unsurprisingly, there is a sound rationale behind the implementation. The mechanism of RFID and online top-up via Touch n Go e-wallet app can reduce the congestion in the toll booth as the car lovers need to drive thru the toll booth, and the RFID reader and app will make the necessary amount deduction. These can be described as an advancement for the toll booth users whereby with the  Touch n Go physical card; the car lovers need to stop at the toll booth and touch the physical card with the reader to go through and get the necessary amount deduction.

The RFID sticker is also easy to install either by DIY or any authorized fitment centre. With the government announcement, several car workshops had started the fitment for the RFID sticker. The workshop-like DTOX Car Service, Lim Tyre Sdn Bhd, TyrePlus, and many more announced their RFID fitment service. The car lovers can purchase directly from them and install it in their respected workshop. Some Youtuber video makers have uploaded a video on installing the RFID in their car, which can benefit car lovers who want to DIY.

The RFID activation is also a breeze. Once the sticker has been fixed correctly, the car lovers need to install the Touch n Go e-wallet and register their RFID sticker. To register the sticker in the app, the user needs to scan or enter the RFID sticker number manually and reload a substantial amount starting with a minimum of RM10. Once these have been completed, the car lover can make a test driver to any toll booth to ensure the RFID works perfectly and as intended. They are also loads of benefits, vouchers and discounts offered by Touch n Go in their app for the car lovers which they can enjoy.

With the simplicity of installing the RFID and child play like activation by combining the sticker and smartphone, which ensure its rationale of reducing congestion, they are some demerits because it had created a dissatisfied outcry among the masses. The primary reason is the RFID price seemed to be overpriced. Lately, the former Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had highlighted that the RFID sticker actual price is RM5 only which had opened up the argument of overcharging for RFID stickers. These created an outcry among the masses that they have been forced to pay an exorbitant amount for it. These also had undoubtedly led to the issue of crony capitalism which had been common in our country.   

Although the RFID can be like a breeze when driving through a toll gate, it led to another issue. A recently uploaded test drive from Indonesia had seen that their RFID reader is flawless. The video showed where the reader could detect the RFID while the car was moving at a breakneck speed. In our country, the reader is not coherent enough to detect a breakneck speed car hence the car lovers need to slow down their car while passing through the lane and worst of all; the reader can be damaged or not able to detect the RFID even though the car lovers driving slowly. These had made our country’s RFID reader sluggish and looked out of fashion compared to the one in Indonesia. The exorbitant price and the unfashionable readers created congestion in the toll booth with incongruent with the motive behind RFID implementation.

Although the government had announced the RFID as obligatory for every car lover, there are still fewer RFID toll booths on our country’s major highways. Moreover, the RFID is also dependable on the smartphone, which can irritate car lovers if their smartphone malfunctioned or the internet provider had an issue with their service. These can create an unwanted issue in the toll booth with its opposite to the rationale of the implementation.

For now, the RFID has created a furore and outcry among the public because of crony capitalism, outdated reader, fewer RFID toll booth and smartphone dependability. With the amount of outcry, it will be thoughtful for the govement to rectify these issues, which can reduce the clamouring anger among the public of the exorbitant price and outdated readers. Once the government has resolved the issue concerned and provided another alternative instead of forcing the people to use the RFID, the rationale behind the implementation will be materialized and create a great convenience for car lovers. Under any circumstances, if the aforementioned issue had been sorted out under any circumstances, then the day where the public needs to stop at the toll booth will be archaic.

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