We are not discriminating against Singaporean cars, says Malaysian Transport Minister in response to new road charge

An aerial view of Woodlands Checkpoint and the Causeway looking out towards Johor Bahru, Malaysia. PHOTO: ST FILE

Malaysia respects Singapore's decision to impose a new Reciprocal Road Charge (RRC), Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai told The Straits Times on Monday (Jan 16) , but emphasised that its own Road Charge, introduced in November last year, was not a response to Singapore's 1973 Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP).

"We respect their decision but we have to inform Singaporeans that we are not taking a reciprocal action on their earlier VEP with the Road Charge," he said, hours after the Singapore Land Transport Authority announced its new charges.

He added: "We are not discriminating against Singaporean cars. We will also introduce the Road Charge at the Thai and Indonesian borders. (At) all the borders, we will introduce the same charges. We want the Singapore government to reconsider."

The Land Transport Authority on Monday announced that all foreign-registered cars will have to pay an RRC of $6.40 per entry when entering Singapore via Tuas or Woodlands Checkpoint.

The RRC will be collected along with the VEP, toll charges and fixed Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) fees upon departure at the two Checkpoints.

The new charge, which will take effect from Feb 15, mirrors Malaysia's Road Charge of RM20 ($6.40) per entry for non-Malaysia registered cars entering Johor.

This was implemented on Nov 1 last year (2016).

Mr Liow said that its Road Charge "is actually a very minimal charge and is different from VEP".

"Singapore introduced VEP in 1973 and we didn't reciprocate. We just respect their decision," he said.

He stressed that Malaysia's Road Charge is different from the VEP.

"It's only RM10 to register your car for five years," he said. "You get a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag for five years and then you renew another RM10. It's very different from Singapore."

Mr Liow added that Malaysia "will continue to have dialogue with Singapore on our decision".

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