MUAR, Johor: Malaysia said on Friday (Jan 3) it has put on hold the enforcement of its Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) scheme as many Singapore vehicles have yet to install the required radio frequency identification (RFID) tag.
Only about a quarter of the Singapore vehicles registered for the VEP scheme – or 60,000 of more than 230,000 – have installed the tag, the Road Transport Department said.
“We are targeting to get the remaining balance (to install the RFID tag) within the first six months of the year,” the department’s director-general Shaharuddin Khali as saying by The Star.
The move affects “all outbound traffic” at Johor's Sultan Iskandar Building and Sultan Abu Bakar Complex, according to the report.
Back in 2007, Malaysia announced that all foreign-registered vehicles entering the country will need a VEP, which it said was meant to tackle car theft and cloning syndicates and prevent vehicles with outstanding fines from leaving the country.
Malaysia’s Transport Ministry originally said the VEP would be enforced from October last year, but later announced in September that it would defer the implementation “during peak hours” for outbound traffic until further notice.
Commuters from Singapore have complained about lengthy waiting times, a lack of appointment slots and little help from Malaysian authorities in obtaining the RFID tags.
The ministry said it will open an additional RFID centre at Sultan Abu Bakar Complex, in addition to the existing ones at Gelang Patah Southbound RnR, Plaza Angsana open car park, Pandan RnR and Lima Kedai Toll Plaza.
Transport Minister Anthony Loke said in October that a new mechanism would be introduced to make it easier for all vehicles to install the tags.
He said the implementation of VEP would only take place in 2020 to ensure all Singaporean vehicle owners have ample time to prepare.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Mr Shaharuddin said the department has seen positive response from Singapore-registered vehicle owners, who understand the importance of registering for the VEP-RFID, Malay Mail reported.