syed zainal

Former Proton CEO Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir has criticised Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said’s recent statement, where the minister in the Prime Minister’s department revealed that vehicle prices are on track to be reduced by 30% come 2018.

Calling Azalina’s statements immature, Syed Zainal said she should have provided a more detailed explanation on the Government’s intention to lower vehicle prices to prevent any misunderstanding between car manufacturers and the public.

“Never in history has car prices fell so drastically at the same time the price of goods are going up. To me, Azalina’s statement is immature and not realistic. Have to ask her [Azalina] how she will reduce [vehicle prices] by up to 30%. If the government reduces the tax rate [excise duty], then it’ll be easier to accomplish that,” he told FMT.

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A few days earlier, Azalina said in a written reply to Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng that prices will be reduced in stages. Earlier, Lim had quizzed the minister about the Government’s promises to reduce car prices in stages by 20 to 30% in accordance with the Government’s commitment towards its manifesto that was promised during GE13.

“Various efforts have been undertaken, including the granting of incentives to reduce the amount of excise duty payable to companies of car manufacturers involved in local value-added automotive components,” she said. “These incentives are seen to be beneficial as the total price reduction recorded in 2013 was 3%, followed by 7% in 2014 and 2.7% in 2015.”