We’ve already heard about the government deferring enforcement of the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) for foreign vehicles entering Malaysia, now we know that the target is six months. In September, the transport ministry said that the deferment was “until further notice.” The original start date for enforcement was Oct 1.

“In light of several issues made known to the ministry including the difficulties to get appointments for RFID Tag installation, the ministry will defer enforcement of VEP on all outbound traffic at both KSAB and BSI during peak hour traffic operation until further notice,” the ministry’s statement said then, referring to the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex and Sultan Iskandar Building checkpoints in Johor.

Now, the Road Transport Department (JPJ) says that the deferment is because many Singapore-registered vehicles still do not have the RFID Tag. JPJ director-general Datuk Seri Shaharuddin Khalid said based on the department’s record, more than 230,000 Singaporean vehicles have registered for the VEP but only 60,000 have had the VEP-RFID fitted, Malay Mail reports.

“We (JPJ) will be targeting to get the remainder 170,000 Singapore-registered vehicles to install the VEP-RFID within the first six months of this year,” Shaharuddin said, adding that the JPJ is receiving positive feedback from Singaporeans regarding the RFID tag, and that they know the importance of registering for the VEP.

When it announced the deferment in September 2019, the transport ministry acknowledged the difficulty in getting appointments for RFID Tag installation, and announced the opening of another fitment centre at the JPJ office in the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex (outbound). That’s in addition to the four fitment centres at the Gelang Patah Southbound R&R, the Plaza Angsana open carpark, Pandan R&R and Lima Kedai toll plaza.

VEP registration was opened in April 2019, with an initial period of six months given to owners of foreign vehicles to apply and install the RFID tag. The VEP for each registered vehicle is valid for five years.

The government says that “VEP is a vital component in its efforts to address the problems with owners of foreign vehicles that have violated our road transport laws and the issues with irresponsible parties exporting/importing stolen or illegitimately registered vehicles across the country’s borders.”

The latter is to do with “cloned vehicles” or cars that were supposed to have been scrapped in Singapore, but brought in illegally to Malaysia, sold below market value, and running with fake number plates mirroring that of a similar vehicle.