The ministry of international trade and industry (MITI) will be issuing a statement regarding an allegation that Putrajaya has approved 38 new open approved permit (AP) holders. According to deputy minister Ong Kian Ming, the response to the issue will come later this week, reports Malaysiakini.

The claims were published by automotive portal Drive Safe & Fast, which quoted a “long-established AP holder” for the aforementioned allegation. “From what we have found out, most of the new 38 AP holders have already started talking to established AP holders to ‘buy’ their APs as they are not in the car business and instead just want a fee of RM18,000 to RM22,000 for each AP,” the portal wrote.

The established AP holders have had their regular annual AP quotas reduced to accommodate the provision to the new AP holders, and it now just means that the “AP wealth is spread evenly with 38 new players who are just selling their APs and not doing the import business,” the portal added.

Putrajaya has said it has no plans to abolish the AP system but will review it to ensure that there is no abuse, Ong had mentioned during an interview with radio station BFM last November.

There are no plans right now to abolish the AP system, I think what we are trying to do is to review the system so that you don’t have a situation where ‘Ali Babas’ are being used in the AP process, whereby people just apply for these APs, sit on it and sell it to somebody else at an inflated price. The government is trying to review the process so that legit players are the ones that really contribute to the process of selling cars that cannot be assembled on a CKD basis,” he said during the radio interview.

Last September, prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad stated that while numerous businesses were given opportunities under the New Economic Policy (NEP), many had sold their contracts and APs for profit. He said that the government would cancel the contracts and APs given to these businesses if they were selling these to a third party.