New road levy in Johor: Malaysia gears up for official launch

JOHOR BARU • Malaysia's Road Transport Department (JPJ) is in the final stages of synchronising its system with that of the country's Ministry of Transport, gearing up for formal implementation of the vehicle entry permit (VEP) at the two Johor land links with Singapore.

Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said that, so far, at least 200,365 Singapore-based vehicle owners have registered online ahead of the VEP's full implementation.

The official kick-off date has not been fixed as his ministry is still gathering online registrations and data, he told reporters last Saturday.

Since Nov 1, Malaysia has unofficially collected a new RM20 (S$6.40) VEP levy on Singapore-registered cars entering Johor by the Causeway or Second Link. This comes on top of checkpoint tolls imposed by both countries.

With the new fees, a round trip for a Singapore car going into Johor will incur about $19 in tolls and fees.

"We are synchronising the registered data with JPJ's MySikap system," said Datuk Seri Liow.

The VEP charges will be paid via a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, he said. The tag is a sticker with a barcode that should be displayed on the windshield of the vehicle, he said during a visit to Malaysia's Customs, immigration and quarantine complex in Johor last Saturday.

Singapore said earlier this month that it would match "in some form" the imposition of the VEP.

Labelling the road charge scheme as "discriminatory", Singapore's Ministry of Transport said it is biased against Singapore-registered vehicles as the fee is applied only at Malaysia's checkpoints with Singapore.

However, Mr Liow said that Malaysia would soon start charging the new levy at its other land links with neighbouring countries.

He said: "I would like to point out that this is not a move to discriminate against Singapore-registered vehicles as the same charges will be introduced in stages at other entry points in the country - at the borders of Indonesia, Thailand and Brunei."

Malaysia shares land borders with Indonesia's Kalimantan province, Brunei and southern Thailand.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2016, with the headline 'New road levy in Johor: Malaysia gears up for official launch'. Print Edition | Subscribe