GE14 Archive

  • Toll discounts and rebates in conjunction with GE14 – NPE, KESAS, LEKAS, LDP, PLUS and many more

    In conjunction with the 14th Malaysian general election, motorists will get to enjoy discounts and rebates on toll charges at selected highways. This was confirmed by the Malaysian Association of Highway Concession Companies (PSKLM), whereby eight highway concessionaires are offering a 10% discount for Class 1 highway users from midnight to 11.59 pm on May 9, 2018.

    In an official statement, the highways involved are the New Pantai Expressway (NPE), Cheras-Kajang Highway (Grand Saga), Damansara-Puchong Exressway (LDP), Duta-Ulu Klang Expressway (DUKE), Kajang Seremban Highway (LEKAS) at Ampangan Toll Plaza only, Shah Alam Expressway (KESAS), Sungai Besi Highway (BESRAYA) and New North Klang Straits Bypass Expressway (Grand Sepadu).

    Meanwhile, all other classes will also get a 10% discount at Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (or Penang Second Bridge), Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway (KLK), East Coast Expressway Phase 1 (ECE 1) and Maju Expressway (MEX) from midnight to 11.59 pm on May 9. If you use the SPRINT Highway during that timing, a 10 sen discount awaits you.

    Click to enlarge

    Users of the Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH) will also get a 10% discount but this is only valid from 8am to 5pm on May 9. During the same period, a 100% discount is offered to those who use the KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR).

    As for rebates, these affect the Lebuhraya Pantai Timur 2 (LPT2) and PLUS Highway (except Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, Tanjung Kupang and Penang Bridge toll plazas). On offer is a 20% rebate for PLUSMiles cardholders or Touch ‘n Go cards registered on the PLUSMiles portal, valid on May 8 and 9 for Class 1 highway users. The rebate is only applicable for journeys exceeding 100 km, and users can make their redemptions between June 15 to September 14 this year.

  • Barisan Nasional GE14 manifesto – enhancing transportation and further developing its infrastructure

    We’ve seen what Pakatan Harapan and PAS have promised in their election manifesto for the upcoming 14th general election (GE14), and earlier tonight, ruling party Barisan Nasional (BN) revealed its manifesto, which contains 300 plus initiatives grouped under 14 thrusts.

    None of these were related to anything automotive, not directly at least. Unlike the pledges made elsewhere promising the abolishment of the goods and services tax (GST), cheaper cars for first-time buyers (either by the reduction of excise duties for vehicles under 1.6 litres capacity or complete exemption of excise tax for vehicles under 1.3 litres) as well as targeted fuel subsidies, the BN manifesto was more straight-laced, being centred around plans to enhance and develop transportation.

    The development of the country’s road network is the primary focus on the motoring front. The party stated that it will upgrade and maintain federal roads on a regular basis as an alternative to tolled highways, and will strengthen transportation networks and interconnectivity in Sabah and Sarawak through the upgrading of 12,500 km of rural roads.

    Highway network expansion will also continue, including that for the third phase of the East Coast Expressway (ECE), while the West Coast Expressway – from Banting to Taiping – is scheduled for completion by 2020.

    Meanwhile, construction of the Central Spine Road, or Kuala Krai-Kuala Pilah highway, continues. Besides reducing traffic congestion, the 325 km-long route – which will connect Kelantan, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan – aims to drive new economic growth in the East Coast economic corridor.

    There will also be a strong focus on infrastructure projects such as village roads, bridges and the addition of streetlights. Chief among these will be the construction of 383 small bridges throughout the country to enhance connectivity between rural areas.

    At an individual level, movement on the Transformasi Nasional 50 (TN50) blueprint front will see the introduction of a TN50 public transport pass (costing between RM50–RM150). This will offer unlimited monthly access to public transport for students, working youths, senior citizens and the disabled. Elsewhere, as part of an enhancement to the MyLesen programme, subsidies will be provided to rural youths who apply to get motorcycle (B2 class) licenses.

    In terms of public transport, feeder-bus services are set to be enhanced, while there’s plenty of development in store for the country’s rail network. Aside from the planned Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail (HSR) project and the 688 km-long East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) that will run from Port Klang to Pengkalan Kubor, work on the 197 km Gemas-Johor Bahru double-tracking project is ongoing.

    The manifesto also highlighted a number of other rail projects that are on the cards. Besides the construction of a rapid transit system (RTS) linking Johor Bahru and Singapore, there are plans to build an electrified railway line from Subang Jaya to the Subang Skypark Terminal as part of the planned railway integration, and the Klang Valley dual-track railway line is also due to be upgraded, with 42 km of track set to be repaired.

    Other planned projects include the establishment of an integrated intelligent transportation system (ITS), which will cover every type of transportation and traffic across the country.

  • PAS GE14 manifesto touts zero excise tax for first car buyers, interest-free loans – is this good for us?

    This time around, the rejigged opposition’s election manifesto for the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14) did not trumpet lower car prices if it came into power so loudly, unlike in the previous GE, when “Turunkan Harga Kereta” was part of a turun everything campaign. However, dig in and you’ll find that Pakatan Harapan intends to cut excise duties on imported cars below 1.6 litres for first-time buyers. PAS, now divorced from PKR and DAP, has made a somewhat similar pledge.

    The Islamic party has unveiled a manifesto for its Gagasan Sejahtera platform, which includes Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) and Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa). The manifesto includes the expected promise of abolishing the goods and services tax (GST), but it also threw in something car related – exempting excise tax for first-time car buyers.

    The proposal by PAS is to exempt excise tax for first-time car buyers, applicable to vehicles with engine capacities below 1.3 litres. The party also proposes an interest-free loan for the first-timers. Of course, nothing is mentioned on how a potential government can replace the shortfall of income from this stream.

    It is an important stream. In 2014, minister of international trade and industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that the government cannot give up excise duties under its (then) current fiscal position. “The auto sector is a very important contributor to the government’s coffers – 75% of the duties collected from the auto sector comes from excise duties,” he said at the 2014 National Automotive Policy announcement.

    “On excise duties, the position of the government is as follows. Given the current situation of the budget, it is not possible for the government to review excise duties, but the government, of course, in the next few years, will review the fiscal situation. And as the fiscal situation improves, the government will consider looking into the possibility of gradually reducing excise duties,” he added.

    We pay three different kinds of tax on our cars – import duty, excise duty and GST. Import duty is on a downward trend as Malaysia is part of many trade pacts and bilateral agreements – the rate is already 0% for cars coming in from ASEAN countries, for instance. However, excise duties are the prerogative of the government, and as the MITI minister mentioned, it’s a valuable source of income.

    Unlike import tax, excise duty is levied on all products, whether imported, manufactured locally or national. Rates range from 65% to 105%, but many car manufacturers pay less than that in exchange for a higher rate of localisation. According to Mustapa, the average excise duty being paid per car is about 50% (2014 figures).

    The PAS promise is nothing new. In 2014, minister for youth and sports Khairy Jamaluddin’s proposed a “Youth First Vehicle Scheme” where young people earning under RM4,000 a month can buy their first car tax-free. We calculated – based on a 10% downpayment, 3.5% loan interest rate and a seven-year tenure – and found that one could save from RM30 to RM330 per month for locally-made cars ranging from a Perodua Axia to a Toyota Vios. More on this, here.

    But are cheaper cars truly beneficial for the rakyat? Should the plan to scrap excise tax come to fruition, manufacturers and buyers will be rubbing their hands in glee, and the sluggish market might receive a temporary boost. But things might not be so rosy in the longer term. With every high, there’s a hangover, and Thailand has already experienced the cycle.

    The Thai auto market contracted severely after the country’s December 2012 expiry of a first-car scheme, which started in September 2011. The government gave a 100,000 baht tax refund for first-car buyers opting for a locally made car priced below one million baht, with an engine no bigger than 1.5 litres.

    It was reported that the good intentions of the then Thai government cost it US$2.5 billion (RM9.79 billion) in tax income, according to World Bank estimates. It also left more than 100,000 indebted customers defaulting on their loans because they couldn’t afford to buy new cars under normal circumstances. Of course, owning a car isn’t just about the monthly instalments – there are many other costs involved such as insurance, fuel and parking, just to name a few.

    At the proposal stage, cheaper cars are meant to help out the young, but in Thailand, it left many youngsters trapped in debt. The situation would probably be the same or worse should a similar scheme be introduced here.

    Malaysian household debt levels are already among the highest in the region (84.6% of GDP as of September 2017; it was RM1.086 trillion or 88.4% of GDP at end 2016) and giving fresh grads an “extra excuse” to buy a new car may be bad for their long term financial health. With up to RM1,000 per month less in savings, that elusive first home will be even harder to achieve.

    Also, lower car prices will not necessarily mean that young adults will have more money to spare. It’s likely that many will take the opportunity to use the original budget for an “upgrade” – for instance, if the original budget allowed for a Perodua Myvi, the first-time buyer might now go for a Honda Jazz, for the “same price”. And we haven’t even mentioned the impact on urban congestion.

    Anyway, are cars really as expensive in Malaysia as we think? As shared with BFM earlier this month, RM60k buys you the base Yaris J Eco in Thailand. The Myvi-sized hatch is powered by a 1.2 litre engine, rolls on steel wheels and doesn’t have a radio. Contrast that with the RM55k Myvi 1.5 Advance, with its LED headlamps, keyless entry and autonomous emergency braking.

    On the other end of the scale, the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid, launched here in January at RM344k, retails from RM457k in the Land of Smiles. The PHEV G30 benefits from CKD hybrid incentives in both countries. Those doing direct conversions from countries such as the UK and Australia might also want to consider the cost of insurance, fuel and inspection there, among other costs. What’s your opinion on car prices in Malaysia?

  • Pakatan Harapan GE14 manifesto – auto-related points

    Pakatan Harapan (PH) has released its Buku Harapan election manifesto for the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14), and though there was no mention of lower car prices if it came into power, as was the case in its GE13 manifesto, there were still some items in the general mention that were related to the automotive scene, or would have an impact on it.

    UPDATE 1: The story has been revised with GST-related info.

    UPDATE 2: Pakatan Harapan has since won the 14th general elections; however, this article was written before the elections, hence the mentions of the coalition as the opposition in this article.

    The first, one of 10 specific pledges that PH aims to fulfil within the first 100 days of taking office, concerns the introduction of targeted fuel subsidies to stabilise petrol prices. Currently, fuel prices are set via a managed float system and adjusted on a weekly basis, and so fluctuation is common.

    The opposition says that it will provide oil subsidies at a rate seen fit every month to eligible groups (those using 125 cc motorcycle and cars of 1.3 litre capacity and below). It said an appropriate quota will be set, with the subsidisation mechanism tied in to an individual’s identification card, presumably to prevent abuse. In this manner, subsidies will be targeted only at those who need such subsidy assistance.

    The second is also one of the 10 salient points listed in the manifesto, and is a promise to abolish the goods and services tax (GST) and take steps to reduce the cost of living. Doing the former without changing anything else upstream will have an effect on car prices, but this won’t be the case – the removal of the 6% GST (currently applied on top of a vehicle’s retail price without insurance) will see the reintroduction of the sales and services tax (SST) in its place.

    For cars, this will entail sales tax, previously imposed before GST came into play. This was applied on a car’s government approved selling price, essentially, the car’s open market value (if CKD) or cost, insurance and freight (if CBU) price, along with associated import and excise duties. Pricing changes will occur, but as a result of the different mechanism of calculation.

    As for car insurance, which is also subjected to the 6% value-added tax, the final rate of an insurance cover for a vehicle will be lower as a result of the tax omission, if nothing is added on to it. Prior to GST, only stamp duty was applied to the figure.

    Elsewhere, the removal of GST will not have any implications on servicing, maintenance and repairs or the pricing of accessories and spare parts, given that SST – which was previously also set at 6% – will go back in place of it.

    There is also mention of a gradual abolishment of tolls in the manifesto, though this is part of the larger canvas and is to be accomplished within five years. The opposition also said it will reduce excise duties on imported cars with an engine displacement below 1600 cc to enable a first car purchase to be made at lower prices. To avoid abuse, only one car will be alloted in this manner per household earning below RM8,000 a month.


Browse Stories by Car Maker

  Alfa Romeo
  Aston Martin

  Great Wall
  Land Rover




Latest Fuel Prices

RON 95 RM2.05 (0.00)
RON 97 RM2.73 (0.00)
RON 100 RM3.35
VPR RM3.56
EURO 5 B10 RM2.15 (0.00)
EURO 5 B7 RM2.25 (0.00)
Last Updated 22 Jul 2021