Parliament is back in session, which means that topics – current and not so current – will be brought up by the MPs. Due to the less-than-smooth rollout on PLUS’ North South Highway in January, RFID for toll payment is one such topic, and senior works minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof had to explain.

He affirmed that Radio Frequency Identification is the way to go for Malaysia, and the system is superior to the infrared technology used by SmartTAG. According to Bernama, Fadillah said that RFID was seen to be more effective than infrared technology.

“The infrared technology used for SmartTag devices has not been proven in the implementation of the Multi-Lane Free Flow (MLFF) system, compared to the RFID technology which has been widely adopted by developed countries that have implemented the toll collection system.

“The implementation of the RFID technology is in line with the government’s aim to introduce the MLFF toll collection system using the RFID technology and it is expected to be fully implemented by 2025,” he said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday, in response to question by Sabak Bernam MP Datuk Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh.

Rollout hiccup aside, the government’s stand on RFID and it being the base for eventual MLFF has been consistent – the works ministry has said it before and Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) CEO Datuk Madani Sahari reiterated the point of view last month. Fadillah also said that RFID usage has increased by 18% since the system’s introduction in 2017 (the TnG RFID public pilot programme actually started in late 2018).