Ringgit drops to one-year low against Singdollar: Time to visit Malaysia this Dec, only if you are not driving

Good news and bad news for Singaporeans.

Martino Tan| November 23, 04:23 PM

For budget travellers thinking of a short trip to Malaysia during the year-end holidays, rejoice!

Malaysian ringgit has fallen to its lowest level in more than a year against the Singdollar.

For instance, one Singdollar could buy RM3.12 on Tuesday (Nov 22), the weakest the Malaysian currency has been since last September.

Road charges, Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) in Malaysia

Unfortunately, it appears that Malaysia is not keen to have too many foreign visitors over.

According to Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, all foreign private-registered vehicles entering Malaysia via Johor will be subjected to RM20 (S$6.40) road charge from Nov 1.

Drivers are also charged a one-time fee of RM10 (S$3.20) to install a radio frequency identification (RFID) electronic chip , known as the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP). The VEP is valid for five years.

The VEP system has been activated at the two entry points in Johor -- Causeway and the Second Link -- and requires Singapore-registered vehicles to register with Malaysia's Road Transport Department before entry.

In future, it would also apply to other Malaysian road entry checkpoints from Thailand, Brunei and Indonesia.

According to the Straits Times, Singapore-registered vehicles without a VEP, will be refused entry into the country once the system is fully implemented.

So much for ASEAN principles on the free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.

It appears that Malaysia is building an invisible paywall.

Top photo from Bryan van der Beek/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

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