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Malaysia confirms October 1 launch of vehicle entry permit for Singapore drivers

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  • Malaysia will enforce the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) for Singapore-registered vehicles starting October 1, 2024.
  • The VEP will cost RM25 and be valid for five years, in addition to the existing RM20 road charge.
  • Singapore motorists are urged to complete their VEP registration well in advance to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

Malaysian Transport Minister Loke Siew Fook has announced that the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) for Singapore-registered vehicles will be enforced starting October 1, 2024. This decision, which has been in the works for some time, marks a new chapter in the management of traffic flow and vehicle registration at one of Southeast Asia's busiest border crossings.

The implementation of the VEP system has been a topic of discussion for years, with various delays and postponements along the way. However, Minister Loke has made it clear that there will be "no U-turn" on this decision, emphasizing the Malaysian government's commitment to enhancing border control measures and streamlining the entry of foreign vehicles into the country.

"We have decided to implement the VEP from Oct 1. There is no U-turn," Loke stated firmly during a press conference at the Parliament building. This declaration puts to rest any speculation about further delays or changes to the policy.

The VEP system will require all Singapore-registered vehicles entering Malaysia by land to have a valid permit. This includes vehicles crossing via the Johor-Singapore Causeway and the Second Link, two crucial arteries connecting the neighboring countries. The permit will come in the form of an RFID tag, which will be linked to the vehicle and driver's information in the Malaysian immigration system.

One of the key aspects of the VEP implementation is the associated cost. Singapore motorists will need to pay RM25 (approximately S$7.20) for the RFID tag, which will be valid for five years. This is in addition to the existing RM20 road charge that foreign vehicles currently pay when entering Malaysia. While the additional cost may seem nominal, it represents a new layer of regulation for cross-border commuters and travelers.

The decision to enforce the VEP has been met with mixed reactions. Proponents argue that it will help Malaysia better manage the influx of foreign vehicles and potentially generate additional revenue for infrastructure improvements. Critics, however, express concerns about potential delays at border crossings and the impact on the thousands of people who commute between Singapore and Malaysia daily for work or personal reasons.

Minister Loke addressed these concerns, stating, "We have given ample time for Singaporeans to register. The system has been open for registration since 2019." He emphasized that the Malaysian government has been proactive in communicating the impending changes and providing opportunities for vehicle owners to comply with the new regulations.

The VEP implementation is part of a broader strategy to modernize Malaysia's transport policy and border control measures. By digitizing the vehicle registration process and linking it to the immigration system, Malaysian authorities aim to enhance security, reduce congestion at border crossings, and improve overall traffic management.

For Singapore motorists planning to travel to Malaysia after October 1, it is crucial to complete the VEP registration process well in advance. The Malaysian transport ministry has set up an online portal for this purpose, allowing vehicle owners to register their details and schedule an appointment to collect their RFID tags.

As the implementation date approaches, both Malaysian and Singaporean authorities are expected to ramp up their public information campaigns to ensure smooth adoption of the new system. This will likely include detailed guidelines on the registration process, frequently asked questions, and support channels for those encountering issues.

The enforcement of the VEP is a significant development in Malaysia-Singapore relations, particularly in the realm of cross-border travel. As two nations with deep economic and social ties, the success of this implementation will be closely watched by policymakers, businesses, and citizens on both sides of the border.

As we move closer to the October 1 deadline, it is clear that the landscape of Malaysia-Singapore cross-border travel is set to change. Singapore motorists and regular travelers to Malaysia are advised to stay informed about the VEP requirements and complete their registrations in a timely manner to avoid any disruptions to their travel plans.

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