JOHOR BARU - A Malaysian minister has said the government will cap the levy for Singapore-registered vehicles entering Johor at not more than RM50 (S$20), a newspaper reported on Friday, just days after he reportedly said the fee would be at least this amount.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Aziz Kaprawi said any decision on the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) charge would not be made at the expense of tourist arrivals and the Visit Malaysia Year campaign, New Straits Times reported.
He said Malaysia would not follow the same VEP quantum imposed by Singapore, although it had the liberty to do so.
The entry fee for foreign-registered vehicles entering Singapore is currently S$20 but it will increase to S$35 or about RM89.50 from Aug 1.
"The Economic Council will set an amount, which is comfortable for Singaporeans. Singaporeans have been enjoying coming to Johor Baru to shop and buy groceries. We don't want the VEP charge to hinder them from coming to Malaysia," he told the New Straits Times on Thursday.
On Tuesday, another Malaysia newspaper Sin Chew Daily reported Mr Aziz as saying that the VEP on foreign cars entering Johor would likely be "not less than RM50".
Earlier Malaysia reports had said the fee could range from RM20 to RM50, with Johor receiving a cut of the fees collected.
Mr Aziz said the government had agreed that the VEP would be levied only on Singapore cars for now as it had benefited from the facilities in Malaysia over the years and Singaporeans do not have to pay road taxes.
Statistics from the Johor Customs Department showed that 33.5 million vehicles had used the Second Link in Gelang Patah and 4.76 million used the Causeway from January to June this year, New Straits Times said.
On whether Malaysia will follow some of the conditions set by Singapore, such as 10 VEP-free days for Malaysian vehicles and free entry during Singapore's public holidays, Mr Aziz said there was no need to emulate everything.
The ministry which would be regulating the VEP, was fine-tuning the system's implementation and policy, he said.
"We hope to decide on the VEP charge and implement it by year-end. Our prime minister will make the announcement once everything has been finalised."