KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 – Singapore’s Straits Times (ST) defended today Singapore’s decision to increase the fee on foreign cars entering the republic, but rapped Putrajaya for the apparent retaliation of a new surcharge for cars entering from the city state.
Suggesting that Malaysia was implementing a Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee for all foreign vehicles entering Johor after Singapore’s plan to increase the same charge on its side of the causeway, the Straits Times claimed the hike would not burden Malaysian commuters.
“Road tolls are par for the course and one would not expect countries to make distinctions for foreign vehicles as curbing congestion is often a key concern,” ST said in an editorial.
“Singapore’s fee hike will not affect the majority of Malaysians – there is no increase for motorcycle users, almost nine in 10 in cars will pay nothing as they drive in on free days or during free hours, and goods vehicle drivers will in effect pay just $1.33 (RM3.41) a day,” the newspaper added.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak reportedly said last week that Putrajaya has decided to impose a VEP fee on all foreign vehicles entering Johor, adding that the rate and implementation date would be announced later.
Today, the ST stressed that Singapore’s VEP fee hike was merely intended to “equalise the cost of owning and using foreign-registered vehicles” in the city state with Singapore-registered vehicles, pointing out that Singapore’s vehicle ownership and usage levies were among the highest in the world.
The newspaper said with the VEP fee hike, Malaysians commuting daily by car to Singapore would end up paying the same in usage costs as Singaporeans who fork out S$33 (RM84.58) daily, which is the amortised cost over 10 years of a S$120,000 (RM307,565) car, excluding road tax, interest and insurance.
According to Singapore news channel Channel News Asia, Singapore will revise the VEP fee on foreign cars entering the republic from S$20 (RM51.26) to S$35 (RM89.71) effective August 1.
The VEP fee for foreign-registered motorcycles will not be changed.
Channel News Asia also reported Singapore’s Transport Ministry last week as saying that all foreign-registered cars and motorcycles could enter the city state for free on VEP-free days and hours, which were weekends and Singapore public holidays, 10 normal weekdays per calendar year, and between 5pm and 2am on other days.
Singapore daily raps Malaysia for vehicle entry fee, but defends republic"s ...