In recent months, car companies have introduced a number of new vehicles but not all of them are accompanied by official prices, with most carrying tentative figures instead. Early last month, the Malaysian Automotive Association stated the reason for this is due to the delay in price approval from the authorities.

At a briefing session held with the media today, the association touched upon the issue again when asked about it during a Q&A session. “[We] applied first to MITI (ministry of international trade and industry) to ask for the approval on the ILP (Industrial Linkage Programme) and that has taken a long time, in the sense that sometimes the meetings are not held,” said Datuk Aishah Ahmad, president of MAA.

“There is a delay, and it can reach up to five to six to seven months. There are some [MAA] members who are still waiting from May [2018] until today – they haven’t gotten the prices,” she continued. The ILP encompasses incentives and duty exemptions that have to be taken into consideration when OEMs price their vehicles.

Aishah also revealed that the ministry of finance, which previously provided the approvals, does not want to make decisions now. “Everything is channelled to the Automotive Business Development Committee (ABDC),” she stated, adding that committee includes the Royal Malaysian Customs, MITI, finance ministry, Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) and the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA).

“Even after the committee has decided, it goes back but the papers are not coming out. We have voiced this out, where it is very difficult because we cannot get prices and therefore, we cannot launch our models,” Aishah explained.

“It makes it worse because the fact that the National Audit Department is auditing all those who have obtained this ILP has gone to check that whatever we have indicated in our proposals are correct. They have done the audits, and they are supposed to come back with the feedback by the end of this month.”

“So, government officials are now holding back. They don’t want to make a decision on their own, it has to be a committee decision. It’s not helping the industry,” she continued.

The MAA president also revealed that many MAA members are affected by this issue, and that it has highlighted the matter to the MoF and will seek a meeting with MITI as well. She said, “you know that a lot of models that have not [been] launched. You know [those models] we showed during the motor show where we’re supposed to launch it, but until today we don’t have prices.