The busy Singapore-Johor causeway. Source: Wikimedia
Singapore says it will remove its reciprocal road charge (RRC) once Malaysia’s road charge is implemented on its other borders.
The Singapore High Commission in Kuala Lumpur and the consulate-general in Johor Baru said that Malaysian road charges must apply to all non-Malaysian-registered vehicles.
Singapore’s willingness to retract the RRC was a welcome move, said Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi. He said Malaysia did not want to discriminate against Singapore with the RM20 (S$6.40) road charge on all foreign-registered vehicles entering Malaysia from the city-state as the charges would be extended to all border checkpoints. “We will impose the road charge at all checkpoints of our borders this year, with Thailand being the next one,” Aziz told the New Straits Times without giving dates.
“The ministry plans to start implementing it sometime in the middle of this year, but we are still finalising the fee that will be imposed,” he added.
Malaysia started imposing a RM20 charge on all foreign vehicles entering Johor from November. This month, Singapore said it would charge the S$6.40 RRC, matching Malaysia’s fees at the land checkpoints.
“As long as Singapore is the only country affected by Malaysia’s road charge, we have no choice but to respond with the reciprocal road charge,” said the Singaporean consular statement.
“However, once the road charge is implemented at all of Malaysia’s other land borders (Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia), at an equal quantum and on all non-Malaysian-registered cars, we will remove our RRC,” it said.
Singapore’s Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) was originally introduced in 1973 to equalise the cost of using foreign-registered cars in Singapore.
“It ensures comprehensiveness of our vehicle population control policy, that there is similar restraint to using foreign vehicles on Singapore’s roads as there is for Singapore vehicles, which are subject to the certificate of entitlement system and high vehicle taxes.”
The intent of the VEP was different from that of Malaysia’s road charge, the consular statement said.
“Only about one out of 10 foreign-registered vehicles that enter Singapore pay Singapore’s VEP, and these are mostly driven by those who work in Singapore. The other 90 per cent do not pay the VEP as they enter Singapore during VEP-free days or hours,” the statement said.