SINGAPORE: The Malaysian government has urged Singapore to reconsider its decision to match Malaysia’s RM20 (S$6.50) road charge, media reports said on Friday (Jan 13).
“We have good ties with the Singapore Government. So I hope that they will reconsider,” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told reporters after an event at Johor Baru Tiong Hua Association.
Mr Liow denied that Malaysia’s latest road charge, introduced on Nov 1 last year, discriminated against Singapore-registered cars as the fee would be implemented at all border checkpoints in the country.
"To say that there is discrimination against Singapore-registered cars is not true," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying. "We will eventually implement these charges on all foreign-registered cars entering via the Thai border, Kalimantan (Indonesian border) and the East Coast in the peninsula.
"Singapore has been implementing its VEP (Vehicle Entry Permit) fee since 1973. But we (Malaysia) only implemented the road charge of RM20 last November,” he said.
Singapore currently imposes a S$35 VEP fee on foreign-registered cars entering the country, although each vehicle is given 10 free days a year and there are no charges during the weekends. Cars entering Singapore between 5pm and 2am from Monday to Friday are also exempt from VEP.
An average of 20,000 Singapore-registered vehicles enter Malaysia daily via the Causeway and the Second Link.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in Parliament on Monday that the Government will release details soon on how it will match Malaysia’s road charge.
“We have a long-standing policy of matching any levy, tolls or fees charged by Malaysia for using the road links between Singapore and Malaysia,” Mr Khaw said. “This is to ensure that Malaysia takes into consideration our response whenever they raise their tolls or introduce a new levy.”
Malaysia collected about RM13.9 million in road charges from Singapore vehicles between Nov 1, when the new road charge was launched, and Dec 20 last year, he added.