Mustapa MITI

The approved permit (AP) system for imported vehicles is not a popular one, as it brings little benefit to the majority of Malaysians, but it’s not something that’s easy to scrap, apparently. We’ve heard talk about doing away with APs before, but until today, the government is still studying proposals to abolish the system, according to a Bernama report.

“When we look deeper, we find that it is a little difficult, there is an impact on employment and government revenue,” International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed told reporters after witnessing an exchange of documents between Pertubuhan Usahawan Generasi Muda Berjaya Malaysia and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation.

The MITI minister said that any alternative to the AP system should be able to make up for the loss of government revenue, adding that in the last three years, the government collected about RM1 billion from the issuance of APs. Mustapa went on to say that removing APs would affect the incomes of employees of 100 companies who are AP holders and, indirectly, the national economy.

He said MITI is still studying the proposal and it is still too early for the government to consider the options.

naza showroom

The 2009 NAP policy specified that open APs would be terminated by Dec 31, 2015, and franchised APs by Dec 31, 2020. At the announcement of NAP 2014 in January, it was stated that the government would be appointing a company to do an in-depth study on the impact of the termination of Open APs on Bumiputera participation in the automotive industry.

Recently, ex-PM and “father” of the AP system Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad conceded that the controversial system introduced to help Malays rise in business has backfired, with some trading in the licences for a quick profit instead.

“We want to help the Malays, but they don’t want to help themselves. We must review how far we can give these APs. It’s fine if people actually get into business. Like Naza, they succeeded. They’re big now because they got APs. If Malays really made full use of this opportunity, they’d be like Naza,” Tun told Malay weekly Mingguan Malaysia.

“The problem is, there are some Malays who just want to sell the APs to other people and get lots of money. They get it for free and they can sell it for RM8,000,” Proton’s new chairman added.