Media Statement by Johore DAP Policy Director and Senai State Assemblyperson, Wong Shu Qi on 17th July 2014 (Thursday):
The new VEP charge on Singaporean cars cannot just be a retaliation towards Singapore’s recent increment. Federal government should announce where the revenue will be channeled.
With the latest announcement made by Prime Minister Najib Razak last night at Johor Bahru, it is confirmed Vehicles Entry Permit charge will be imposed on Singapore-registered vehicles which enter Malaysia through Johor Bahru customs.
While we are not fully against VEP charge and could accept the implementation with certain terms and conditions, we do regret the manner in which the government is making the decision to impose the charge.
It was reported by Bernama that Deputy Transport Minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said after a briefing, “We are taking a bilateral approach only between Malaysia and Singapore because only Singapore is imposing a VEP charge on Malaysian vehicles and not the other countries.”
In other words, this is an “eye for an eye” policy, a retaliation especially towards recent VEP increment of foreign vehicles announced by Singapore Government.
Yet, four DAP state assemblypersons have already issued a statement on July 7, stressing clearly that it must be a rationale with the VEP charge. Are we implementing the VEP charge as a retaliation or we need the revenue to improve our local public transportation system?
We do agree with the new border charge on foreign vehicles if a comprehensive plan to improve our public transport is implemented simultaneously. However, no other details were announced about how federal government and state government would share the revenue.
If there are 5000 Singapore-registered vehicles entering Johor Bahru everyday, it will be a huge sum of RM 500,000 daily and RM 180 million annually.
Therefore, it is important for the government to decide where this revenue should be channeled. We must acknowledge that the purpose to have the entry charge of foreign vehicles is to reduce congestion; hence, the revenue from the VEP charge imposed on foreign vehicles entering Johor Bahru should be spent on improving local public transport and enhancing local economy. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of having the border charge.
Wong Shu Qi