Sorry. Please allow me to smile if not laugh. I seriously do not think this should ever be the reason why Singaporeans would stop buying a property in Iskandar. There are many other reasons, more valid ones but Vehicle Entry Permit? This was the same reasoning given to me when I decided to buy in Damansara Damai instead of the usual few prominent places like Bangsar, Mont Kiara, Cheras etc. Ok, perhaps the real reason I bought Damansara Damai was because I could not afford all these places mentioned. However, when they told me that I would have to pay RM1.60 toll per day to reach my home everyday. I told them that even if I pay RM3.20 everyday for one year, it would come up to just RM1,168. Considering I can stay there for 10 years, this would be an additional RM11,680 spread over 10 years. They wanted me to pay extra RM500,000 or more today to save RM11,680 over 10 years?
Coming back to the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP). Assuming this is RM50 per day and assuming the Singaporean buyer comes into Malaysia every weekend in the whole year. This is an extra RM5,200. (RM50 x 2 days x 52 weekends). If I am a Singaporean buyer who is buying a condo and I decided not to buy because of this RM5,200 perhaps it is best that we do not attract these buyers. Sorry but RM5,200 in Singapore dollar is only S$2,000 and this is spread over one whole year. The truth is, the savings that these buyers would get from having seafood meals with their family here in Malaysia, drive into Melaka for a much better food variety, drive into Ipoh for the best dim sum and dry curry mer and a cup of fresh white coffee would easily exceed the paltry VEP that is being proposed and is being debated currently.
Please do not jumble up two different matters. Whether or not Iskandar is worth investing and if yes, what to buy is a totally different topic from whether VEP would stop Singaporeans from buying Iskandar. The above does not even take into account the huge difference between a HDB flat with not even a car park versus a full facility condo which the Singaporean family can take full advantage of every weekend. It also does not take into account the usual capital appreciation of the said property. Assuming a RM500,000 property and the appreciation is only 1% per year, that is already RM5,000. Until today, I have not yet owned a property in Iskandar. However, it still does not stop me from smiling with the suggestion that with VEP, the demand for Iskandar properties may drop.
written on 31st July 2014
Next suggested article: Buying Iskandar? HSR update. ‘Malaysia-Singapore meets monthly.’