Friday, February 5, 2010

queuing for a car permit at queensway

photo from national archives of s'pore

back in the late 70s or early 80s, i remember making a trip to the malaysian transport department office at queensway to queue for either a car permit or a motorcycle permit. i was told by a friend that subsequently they did away with the permit for motorcycles.

when it was first implemented in 1967, the car-permit was issued free of charge. you had only to go through the inconvenience of queuing for it at the malaysian high commission at goodwood hill. all you needed were your identity card and a copy of your vehicle log book.

there were other changes related to the application for a car-permit. because of the perpetual queues, they extended the hours of application. the transport office was open in the night - from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. - in an attempt to ease the congestion in the day. this counter was closed on sundays and public holidays.

another time, frustrated applicants were told that they needed their passport instead of just their identity card - in those days we had the blue restricted passport just for travel to malaysia - to support their application.

initially, the car-permit was valid from between six months and one year. the cost of a six-month permit was $30 and $90 for a one-year permit. this was later changed to a free permit which allowed you not more than 14 days in west malaysia.

as a result of this ruling, when we made driving trips to places in west malaysia, we made sure that we did not exceed the two weeks' allowance.

in a way, the need for a car-permit was a good thing. when the scheme was scrapped in 1986, it led to massive, girdlock kind of jams at the causeway, especially on the malaysian side.


Lam Chun See said...

Yes I remember this place. Now its a condo.

yg said...

chun see, i think the condo is called viz at holland.