We’ve been told that the increase in Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fees for Malaysian vehicles entering Singapore is meant to ease congestion within the country. Does the Singapore government really but that, or is it just another smokescreen and mirror tactic to increase the country’s coffers?
$5.85 Million More a Month for the Government
An estimated 13,000 foreign-registered vehicles enter Singapore every day. Increasing the VEP by S$15 to S$35 would give the government an additional S$195,000 a day. That’s about $5.85 million more a month that goes into our public coffers*.
It’s free money – there’s been no improvement to services or infrastructure. And a majority of Malaysians come to Singapore every day for the purpose of work. Is this 40% increase going to force them out of the Singapore workforce? Pretty much, not. That means they’ll just have to pay for it.
Malaysians are just being made to pay more… just because. Is it not justified that they complain? Let’s not forget, this doesn’t even take into account the even-higher fees levied on commercial goods vehicles – a 75% increase to $30!
Do Singaporeans Benefit?
One month on since the fee revision, has there been a significant drop in the number of foreign-registered vehicles entering Singapore? Probably not given the reasons why most Malaysians come here. How then, has this benefited Singaporeans?
We still face the same congestion. We still face the daunting task of claiming compensation if we get into accidents with Malaysian-registered vehicles because unlike drivers here, it’s not mandatory for them to buy vehicle insurance. And now, Malaysia wants its slice of the pie too, by raising fees for Singaporean vehicles to cross the causeway!
PMs Lee & Najib – What a Joke!
There’s a joke making its rounds that Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian PM Najib Razak sat behind closed doors, shook hands and said “Let’s do this bro. Let’s roll in the good times together.” And that’s how they decided to increase VEP fees one after the other, with Singapore starting the ball rolling.
It probably didn’t happen like that. But if it did, this was indeed a beautifully-crafted move to fill the government’s pockets, at the expense of everyday Singaporeans and Malaysians.
(*The S$5.85 million figure doesn’t take into account that in total, one payment of the VEP would allow a Malaysia-registered vehicle to enter Singapore for 10 days per year. Even then, the total figure wouldn’t be too far off the mark.)