KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia will start collecting the RM20 (S$6.64) road charge (RC) from Singaporean motorists on Nov 1 after a series of delays, although a radio frequency identification (RFID)-based Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) system is still undergoing tests.
The Ministry of Transport said in a statement the RC will be applied on private-registered cars entering via the Causeway and Second Link and must be paid with Malaysia's Touch n' Go electronic payment cards.
"The RC will be collected each time motorists enter Malaysia... initial collection exercise will only involve foreign private-registered vehicles, excluding foreign-registered motorcycles," said Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai.
A ministry official told The Straits Times that government and commercial vehicles including public transportation will be exempted.
Singaporean counterparts have said that the levy is discriminatory and warned that it will consider matching the RC.
However, Datuk Seri Liow said the RC and VEP will be extended from the Johor border to the other 10 road entry points across Malaysia in stages.
Unlike Singapore's S$35 per day VEP fee that is levied on foreign cars entering the island, Malaysia's VEP will cost motorists an expected RM10 to install an RFID tag that lasts five years "to improve border control and monitoring".
Although the system is not yet in place, Malaysia has asked foreign vehicle owners to register their vehicles since last year, with 144,000 having done so as of July.
The charge will increase the cost of crossing the border for Singaporean cars from S$13 currently. Malaysian cars entering Singapore get 10 free VEP days before incurring the S$35 per day charge.
Calls for Malaysia to levy a charge on Singaporean cars entering the country gained traction after Singapore raised the VEP from S$20 in 2014.
Responding to media queries, a spokesman for Singapore's Ministry of Transport said: “We note that Malaysia plans to implement a Road Charge of RM20 at the Causeway and Second Link checkpoints from 1 November.
"If it discriminates against Singapore-registered vehicles, we will match it in some form."