Malaysia will begin the enforcement of its Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) scheme only next year at the earliest, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said yesterday.
"We have delayed the enforcement of the VEP because there are some issues on the installation of the RFID at the vendor. The system itself was not able to cope with the numbers of cars and vehicles that were supposed to install the RFID," he told a news conference, referring to the radio frequency identification tag required for the VEP.
"We are finalising a new mechanism to make it easier for all the vehicles to install the RFID. We will announce it later," he said.
"As far as the implementation (goes)... it will not be this year. The enforcement will start probably next year. We will give ample time for everyone to be prepared."
Once enforced, any foreign cars without the VEP will still be allowed to enter Malaysia, but will face a fine upon exit.
The VEP scheme will first be implemented at the Johor Baru checkpoint before being extended to Tuas, Mr Loke said. "We are being fair to all the Singaporean vehicle owners," he said, adding that ample time would be given before the enforcement commences.
Malaysia halted the enforcement of the VEP scheme last week following technical issues.
This followed an announcement on Sept 23 that it had to defer the scheme during peak-hour traffic operations because of difficulties in obtaining appointments for the installation of the RFID tag.
The ministry had previously urged all foreign vehicle owners to register their vehicles online to obtain the RFID tag. Once registered, the owner would then receive an e-mail to schedule an appointment for the installation of the tag.
Owners are required to have with them their vehicles and documents, such as the VEP confirmation slip, VEP-RFID tag appointment slip, a photocopy of their passport, a copy of the latest insurance cover note and the vehicle registration document issued by Singapore's Land Transport Authority.
Malaysia had earlier announced that it would open an additional RFID Fitment Centre at Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, in addition to the four centres in Johor Baru - the Gelang Patah Southbound rest stop, the Plaza Angsana open carpark, the Pandan rest stop and the Lima Kedai Toll Plaza.
The VEP, renewable every five years, was announced in 2017.
The scheme was intended to determine the number of foreign vehicles entering Malaysia, and also to prevent car theft and deter car-cloning syndicates.
In April, the Malaysian government announced that it would enforce mandatory registration for foreign vehicles entering from Singapore starting from Oct 1.