Malaysia working on blacklist of Singapore drivers

Repeat traffic offenders could be blocked from entering the country

The Malaysian authorities have been working on a system to blacklist repeat traffic offenders from Singapore and block them from driving into Malaysia, an official here said, following a car crash that killed Hong Leong scion Kwek Kon Chun on Sunday.

While the cause of the crash is still unknown, it has sparked an outcry against Singaporean drivers, who are accused of speeding recklessly on Malaysian roads.

The new electronic system aims to rein in drivers from the Republic who flout rules with no fear of punishment, Road Safety Department (RSD) chief Tam Weng Wah told The Straits Times on Tuesday.

According to the Auditor-General's Report 2013, Singapore-registered vehicles topped the list of foreign vehicles that were issued summonses between 2011 and last year, with about 84,000 of the 120,000 summonses issued going to Singapore vehicles.

Out of the 84,000 summonses issued, however, Singaporeans paid just 12,000 - or less than 15 per cent - leaving RM7.63 million (S$3 million) still due.

Malaysians, on the other hand, face graver consequences of not paying fines, such as having their licences revoked. They have settled 6.7 million out of 16.2 million fines - about 40 per cent - during the same period.

Sunday's crash was the latest high-profile incident involving Singaporean sports cars on Malaysian roads, following a December 2013 accident which resulted in three flaming Lamborghinis.

These have sparked allegations among Malaysians that visitors from the Republic regard roads here as "race tracks" to drive on. Some even said the two who died "asked for it".

Mr Kwek - who is the nephew of Hong Leong chairman Kwek Leng Beng - reportedly lost control of his Porsche 911 Turbo and crashed while on the way to Kuala Lumpur from a Sepang drag racing event.

The accident killed the 35-year-old nightclub owner, and passenger Franco Toh, 43.

Malaysian police said the car may have been travelling at a high speed.

RSD's Mr Tam said that road transport authorities have been working on an electronic mechanism to blacklist and suspend foreign drivers if they fail to pay their fines - which cost between RM150 and RM300 for speeding and parking offences.

He said this would work in tandem with the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) system that Malaysia wants to introduce on Singapore-registered vehicles entering Malaysia via Johor Baru by the end of the year.

The VEP fee is reportedly RM50, but implementation details are still unconfirmed.

Malaysian traffic summonses can be paid online or at post offices and police stations, but many Singaporeans ignore them, as there is little repercussion.

Malaysian police have in the past tried to reclaim summonses issued to Singaporeans, by setting up roadblocks to check Singaporean cars.

"Regardless of whether you are Malaysian or not, you should pay the penalty. But for some who own expensive cars, the fine is nothing, so we may suspend repeat offenders," said Mr Tam.

He added that the law already allows for jail sentences should a court judge deem an offence as dangerous driving that caused or could cause fatalities.

Police are also looking to install Automated Number Plate Recognition equipment that will help track foreign vehicles.

shannont@sph.com.sg