The government has come up with a special road tax renewal programme for owners of vehicle with expired road tax
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai announced on 24 March after officiating a Transport Ministry carnival, that the public is being offered an opportunity to renew their road tax for vehicles without having to go through the normal procedures, which may be a hassle to some.
This special programme by the Road Transport Department (JPJ) is only valid for vehicles with road tax and insurance that have expired for not more than three years. It will be ongoing for three months, effective now until 30 June 2018.
"I advise such vehicle owners to seize the opportunity to renew their road tax and insurance within the next three months.
"This programme shows the government's concern in helping the people, particularly those in the B40 group," the Transport Minister said, as reported by Bernama.
According to Liow, affected vehicles do not need to undergo inspection at PUSPAKOM (Computerised Vehicle Inspection Centre) thanks to this special programme
This means owners of a vehicle with road tax that had been expired for more than a year will get a reprieve where can they skip the procedure of taking it to PUSPAKOM to do the vehicle inspection.
Under normal procedures, vehicles with road tax that had been expired for over a year must be taken to PUSPAKOM for inspection. PUSPAKOM will evaluate these vehicles before approving them for the renewal of road tax.
On top of this exemption, Liow said vehicle owners will be eligible for an insurance rebate if they renew the documents under this special programme within the stipulated timeframe
To illustrate his point, Liow said that owners of 125cc motorcycles would only need to pay RM80 for insurance charges under this programme. The amount is lower than the normal rate that is usually between RM100 and RM140.
"Once that (paying insurance charges) is done, they can go to any JPJ office to renew the road tax," Liow was quoted as saying by The Star Online.
According to Liow, this programme will be reviewed to determine its effectiveness in the long run
In another report by The Star Online, Liow said that this special programme is supposed to ease the burden of vehicle owners, particularly those from the lower income groups.
"We expect this move to benefit the lower income groups, who are driving or riding with expired road tax, especially in rural areas.
"The ministry is aware of their hardship and took this into account by working together with insurance companies," he reportedly said.
About 10 million registered vehicles in Malaysia have expired road tax
Bernama reported director-general of JPJ Datuk Shaharuddin Khalid as saying that there are approximately 29 million registered vehicles in the country according to the department's statistics.
However, it was revealed that only 19 million vehicles have their road tax renewed every year, with motorcycles making up the biggest chunk (95%) of those with expired road tax.
Meanwhile, some netizens have since voiced out their concerns about special programme
One netizen said that the programme would be "setting a bad precedent" that will "encourage" more car owners to make late payments for insurance and delay road tax renewal for their vehicles.
The move has also invited a netizen to question if law-abiding citizens would be rewarded if they "dutifully pay their road tax and insurance on time".
Do you agree that the programme will benefit lower income groups? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.