Road tax for commercial vehicles in Sarawak, Sabah standardised effective April 1

Trucks. — DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, Feb 28: The road tax for Motor Vehicle Licensing (LKM) of registered commercial vehicles operating in Sabah and Sarawak will be standardised using kerb weight (Berat Tampa Muatan or BTM) effective this April 1.

Minister of Transport Anthony Loke announced today that the Federal Cabinet meeting yesterday had agreed with the ministry’s proposal to standardise the calculation of road tax for commercial vehicles in the two states.

“This means that all new applications or LKM renewal of commercial vehicles in Sabah will enjoy new rates beginning April 1,” he said in a press statement.

He explained that currently the calculation of road tax for commercial vehicles in Sabah and Sarawak were different, with Sabah using gross vehicle weight (Berat Dengan Muatan or BDM) and Sarawak using BTM.

“As such, commercial vehicles operating in Sabah are paying more road tax than those in Sarawak.”


He noted that this issue had been frequently raised by the business community in Sabah as it pushed up the cost of doing business and created an unfair business environment between the two states.

“For instance, operators in Sabah with a diesel prime mover container lorry have to pay RM2,478 in road tax a year compared with those in Sarawak only having to pay RM718 for the same weight vehicle,” he said.

“Moreover, the basis of the road tax calculation for both states has also not been adjusted since the merging of the Road Transport Department (JPJ) with JPJ Sabah and Sarawak in 1984 (through the extension of the Road Traffic Ordinance 1958).”

Loke said his ministry estimated that the standardisation would reduce the federal government’s revenue collection from between RM9 million and RM15 million annually.

“However, this measure will not have a drastic impact on the government and JPJ’s revenue collection as the collection from these two states only constitutes 2.6 per cent of road tax revenue nationwide.”

In addition, he said the measure was also aimed at reducing leakages of revenue to the federal government following the registration of commercial vehicles in Sarawak.

“Based on data from 2009 and 2014, the leakages of revenue from registration of vehicles in the state was estimated at about RM64 million and, as such, standardisation will simplify and facilitate in controlling and monitoring of government revenue collection.”

In 2018, he revealed that there were 122,905 registered commercial vehicles in Sabah with road tax collection worth RM24,350,252.90, while Sarawak has 108,766 registered commercial vehicles with road tax collection of RM18,745,121.40.

The standardisation involved 14 categories or code of good vehicles in Sabah. For instance, BA for Main Mover, BE – trailer, BB – rigid, BF – decontrolled, BC- semi-trailer, BD – semi container trailer and BI – driving school lorry. — DayakDaily