SINGAPORE - Drivers who make frequent trips to Malaysia will not be required to hold a Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) until the end of the year at least.
The Oct 1 deadline to register will be pushed back by at least another four months to give the authorities time to develop a radio-frequency identification tag that is clone- and tamper-proof, a Malaysian Ministry of Transport (MOT) spokesman told The Straits Times on Wednesday (Sept 23).
The VEP, which has a five-year validity, costs vehicle owners an administrative fee of RM10 (S$3.30).
Upon payment, each owner will need to collect a tag to stick on their car windscreen.
"Don't worry. If you have no tag on Oct 1, you will not be stopped at the border," said the spokesman. "The latest decision is that we want a better tag that is tamper- and clone-proof, so we are trying to enhance the tag at this point of time."
ASSURANCE FOR DRIVERS
Don't worry. If you have no tag on Oct 1, you will not be stopped at the border. The latest decision is that we want a better tag that is tamper- and clone-proof, so we are trying to enhance the tag at this point of time.
MALAYSIAN MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT SPOKESMAN
It will take about four months to finalise the tag's design.
Vehicle owners will then be given several months to collect it, he said.
"We will announce the cut-off date for all Singaporean vehicles to display the tag when we are ready. It could be in June next year."
He added that collection information will be sent to applicants when the tags are ready.
Although details are still being ironed out, the plan is for vehicle owners to be able to pick them up at several locations including roadside rest areas.
Many motorists had been fretting about the Oct 1 deadline. Some gave up on registering, citing the onerous process and problematic website. Others who managed to register said they had not received information on how to collect the tags.
About 74,000 drivers of Singapore-registered vehicles have submitted VEP applications since Aug 15, when online registration began.
The Malaysian authorities had expected 200,000 to 300,000 Singapore-registered private vehicles to be enrolled by the end of this year.
Mr Muhammad Shiraq, 25, who registered his family car for the VEP in early September, has not received information on where to collect the tag. The engineering student, who visits Malaysia once a month with his family for meals and shopping, said that it was tedious filling in the registration form as it required specific information like the vehicle chassis number and insurance expiry date.
"Having to wait after the tedious process is frustrating," he said.
"Why couldn't they prepare everything on their side first before asking us to register? There was no information from them about what was happening or if the deadline was going to be delayed."
Businessman Choo Chee Kong, 56, who works in mining, managed to register for the permit last month after several attempts.
He was initially held back due to glitches with the website.
"They improved the website," he said, adding that he drives to Malaysia once a week on business.
"Now I am just waiting for news on what to do next.
"When you are not ready with a product launch, don't launch it. That's the No. 1 marketing rule."
Others like Mr Tan Tuan Khoon have yet to register.
The retiree, who did not give his age, said that he has written to the Malaysian High Commission twice to ask them for an alternative way to register for the VEP.
"Senior people like me, we don't know how to go online. There should be another way to apply," he said, adding that he travels to Malaysia about once a month.
Malaysia's VEP will initially involve foreign-registered vehicles entering the country through Johor, and it will later be implemented at the country's other 12 road entry points.
On Aug 1 last year, Singapore increased the cost of the VEP for foreign vehicles entering the Republic from $20 to $35 a day. It has also raised the cost of the Goods Vehicle Permit from $10 to $40.