PETALING JAYA: Singapore says there are "fundamental differences" between its Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) and Malaysia's Road Charge (RC), hence it has "no choice but to respond with the Reciprocal Road Charge (RRC).
In a post on the Singaporean government website, it said that Malaysia's RC was a levy imposed on all foreign-registered cars entering the country on road via Johor, which all Singaporean cars had to pay.
"On the contrary, only about one out of ten foreign-registered vehicles that enter Singapore pay Singapore's VEP, and these are mostly driven by those who work in Singapore.
"The other 90% do not pay the VEP as they enter Singapore during VEP-free days or hours," it said.
It explained that the VEP was introduced to equalise the cost of owning and using a foreign-registered vehicle in Singapore, with the cost of owning and using a Singapore-registered vehicle.
It clarified that this was part of its "vehicle population control policy" to ensure fairness as there was a high cost of owning vehicles in Singapore, such as the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) system and high vehicle taxes.
It also said that as long as Singapore remained the only country affected by the RC, it had "no choice but to respond with the RRC.
"However, once the Road Charge is implemented at all of Malaysia's other land borders, at an equal quantum and on all non-Malaysian-registered cars, we will remove our RRC," it said.
Malaysia began to impose the RM20 RC at the Causeway and Second Link from Nov 1.
The ruling is supposed to be implemented in phases at Malaysia's other entry points bordering Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia.
Singapore will implement the RRC of S$6.40 (RM20) from Feb 15, on top of the VEP of S$35 (RM109), if applicable.