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Thursday October 8, 2009
I COULD not agree more with D. Pillai in his letter titled “Reduce prices of imported cars” (The Star, Oct 6).
In the new economic era, the protectionist policy does not blend well to create a competitive environment. Successful developing countries are fast to learn that liberation is the only way forward.
The Malaysian automotive industry has been stagnant for years, and has seen much decline compared to other regional markets. Excise customs rise as much as 400% of original values of imported cars.
We understand that the current policy is aimed at safeguarding the interests of local car makers. But surely this cannot go on forever. The local car manufacturers will then never learn to be independent, let alone make a presence in the international arena.
With the comparatively lower earning power of Malaysians, it is perplexing to learn how a car can be priced so exorbitantly in our homeland as compared to other wealthier countries.
It is akin to placing more burden on an already struggling nation. If we compare currency-to-currency wise, a Toyota Camry costs a mere US$20,000 in the United States and S$80,000 in Singapore whilst it costs a whopping RM150,000 in Malaysia.
Simple mathematics tells us that this is apparent discrepancy and is of course unacceptable.
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