Malaysia has halted the enforcement of its Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) scheme at its two Johor checkpoints, the Ministry of Transport has said, following several teething problems last week.
"VEP is suspended now for both peak and non-peak hours," a ministry spokesman told The Straits Times on Tuesday.
The ministry did not say if, or when, the VEP enforcement would resume.
The scheme, which is meant to cover foreign-registered cars entering Malaysia from Singapore, was originally scheduled to begin on Tuesday for non-peak hours only.
This followed the ministry's announcement on Sept 23 that it had to defer the scheme during peak-hour traffic operations due to "several issues". These included difficulties in obtaining appointments for the installation of a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag.
Mr Chong Kah Han, a Malaysian living in Singapore, told The Straits Times he tried four times to register his Singapore car for the VEP, but never received an appointment letter to have the RFID tag installed.
Mr Chong, 38, said his first attempt was nearly three years ago, when the programme was first announced. His latest attempt was in August.
"Please think through the whole process and make sure the entire system works first before announcing a start date to avoid embarrassment," he said, referring to the Ministry of Transport.
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 bring along their vehicles and documents such as the VEP confirmation slip, VEP-RFID tag appointment slip, a photocopy of the passport, a copy of the latest insurance cover note and the vehicle registration document issued by Singapore's Land Transport Authority.
The VEP, renewable every five years, was first 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.
Only VEP-registered vehicles would be allowed entry into Malaysia once the permit was implemented, it said.
A 45-year-old Singaporean driver who gave her name only as Mrs Chia said that she tried to pick up her VEP in Johor yesterday.
"I have registered my car and tried to pick up the VEP, but they said no need yet," she said, referring to what a policeman at the Gelang Patah VEP collection booth told her. "Just keep copies of the documents - appointment e-mail, car insurance and registration - in the car if you drive to Malaysia."