In an online news report I read today. “Scrap VEP please.” SMI Association of Malaysia National President suggested this recently. He said both Malaysia and Singapore should just scrap the vehicle entry permit (VEP) because both countries must look at the bigger picture. Instead of these unnecessary actions against each other, both (Malaysia and Singapore) should realize that they are interdependent economically and socially. What should happen should be a cooperation between both countries to further promote, develop and strengthen the economies of the two countries. It should be ‘us’ against the world. It’s a competitive world out there.
I think what he said made sense but I personally do not think it will happen. If the purpose of VEP is clearly to ensure the maintenance of roads etc, then this is a must to continue. I am not sure if the federal or even the state government would like to always be in a deficit due to road repairs. Besides, the RM20 is not even S$8 based on the current exchange rate. I am not sure what can S$8 buys in Singapore but I am quite sure a typical Singaporean family would save many times this amount on meals, shopping and even just going through Johor Bahru to go Melaka.
As for working together, being interdependent on each other, this cannot be taken away with or without VEP. There is really not much choice because Iskandar cannot become successful by itself without any investments from Singapore. If you ask what is in it for Singapore, I think the answer is very clear. If Singapore really wants to continue to grow economically, it has to cater to ever more talents. The more talents it has, the more pressure it would have with regards to housing and if you were to browse online today, you may have noticed some middle income Singaporean already struggling to buy a bigger place for a growing family. Truth is, with just a better and faster link, these middle income Singaporeans can just stay in Malaysia and the pressure on their housing would lessen. Between HDB flat versus a full fledged condo which is twice its size? Choice is clear. The issue remaining would be the link because currently it takes hours during peak hours and this is a huge deterrent. Happy reading more about VEP news.
written on 6 Apr 2015
Next suggested article: Ringgit down, so buy, buy and buy Iskandar? 🙂