KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia government will waive the RM20 (S$6.43) road charge (RC) imposed on Singapore-registered vehicles entering the country between Apr 1 and Apr 7.
In a press statement on Monday (Mar 28), Malaysia’s Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said the decision was made taking into consideration that the land borders between the two countries have been closed for more than two years, and that Singaporeans have not been able to enter Malaysia to top up their Touch ‘n Go cards.
“There are cards which have expired within this period,” said Dr Wee.
“As such, I have discussed with YAB Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi, Johor’s chief minister, and I have agreed to exempt RC payment imposed on all Singapore-registered vehicles for seven days from Apr 1, 2022 until Apr 7, 2022,” he added.
Dr Wee said that the exemption was to prevent congestion at the two immigration checkpoints - Bangunan Sultan Iskandar at the Woodlands Causeway as well as Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar at the Tuas Second Link.
He explained that congestion might happen as many travellers have insufficient balance in their Touch ‘n Go cards or have cards that are no longer valid.
Dr Wee added that travellers using Singapore-registered vehicles are required to make use of the seven-day exemption to top up their physical Touch ‘n Go cards or register for Malaysia’s Vehicle Entry Permit scheme (VEP), in which a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, tied to an e-wallet Touch ‘n Go application, will be installed on the vehicles.
“Singapore-registered vehicles that have already registered for and installed the RFID VEP tags will also be exempted from the RC payment during the same period,” he said, adding that the RC charges will resume from Apr 8.
From Friday, fully vaccinated travellers will be allowed to cross the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia without quarantine or COVID-19 swab tests, as Malaysia reopens fully to foreigners.
Travellers will be able to use all modes of transport, including private vehicles such as cars and motorcycles.
Earlier on Monday, Dr Wee also announced that land public transportation services between Malaysia and Singapore will be allowed to resume beginning Apr 1.
The approval covers all forms of cross-border public transportation, including buses, express buses, tourist buses, worker buses and taxis, the minister added.
He advised members of the public to obtain information on the cross-border services from the relevant operators.
Malaysia announced back in 2007 that all foreign-registered vehicles entering the country would 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.
In January 2020, Malaysia said the VEP enforcement would be put on hold as many Singapore vehicles have yet to install the required RFID tags.
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 had said then.