BATU PAHAT (JOHOR) - Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi has said that a levy on foreign cars entering Johor from Singapore was likely to be not less than RM50 (S$19.50).
He said a fee around that figure would be reasonable as the Singapore dollar was stronger than the Malaysian ringgit, the Sin Chew Daily reported yesterday.
Last week, Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that his government would go ahead with the introduction of a levy on non-Malaysian vehicles entering the country via Johor, at the state's request.
This came after Singapore announced on July 1 that it would raise fees for foreign-registered vehicles entering the Republic from next month.
But Datuk Seri Najib did not provide details on the fee and time of implementation.
Datuk Abdul Aziz said the measure would likely be implemented at the end of the year.
Malaysian reports earlier said the fee could range from RM20 to RM50, with Johor receiving a cut of the fees collected.
Mr Abdul Aziz said his ministry had received many suggestions and proposals on the levy, with many people feeling that RM20 was too low compared to the financial means of Singaporeans, the daily reported.
"We have also considered RM35, but the amount is still considered too low, so we are now discussing whether it should be not less than RM50, which seems like a reasonable figure," he was quoted as saying.
He said that the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Department was studying the feasibility of the figure, and would then make a final decision.
Singapore's Ministry of Transport has expressed concern that Malaysia is targeting Singapore motorists by planning to charge only vehicles entering the country in Johor.
Singapore motorists, who will have to pay in future to drive their cars into Johor, have said the smaller proposed levy of RM20 would make only a slight difference to how often they went across the Causeway.
But if the levy were RM50, another proposal, that would be a different matter.
At least one visitor among the 20 polled by The Straits Times last week said she would probably stop going to Malaysia altogether if she had to pay RM50 to get in.
From Aug 1, the entry fee for foreign-registered cars entering Singapore will be raised from $20 to $35 per day.
The fee for foreign-registered goods vehicles will go up from $10 to $40 per month.