PETALING JAYA: The government has assured carmarkers that it will speed up the approvals on incentives for automotive companies, a day after the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) lambasted the Pakatan Harapan administration for dragging its feet in approving prices for new car models.
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Ong Kian Ming told Bernama that the approval process related to the incentives for the new models would be made more efficient, moving forward.
“We are more than willing to work with MAA to ensure that the process is speeded up,” Ong said after the Cafe Malaysia 2019 exhibition yesterday.
On Jan 16, MAA president Datuk Aishah Ahmad said the government was partly to be blamed for the expected slower automotive sales in 2019, considering the delay in approving new car models’ pricing.
MAA projects total vehicles sales in 2019 to grow by a meagre 0.21%, as compared to 3.8% last year.
Aishah said that the Finance Ministry has channelled decision-making processes related to the Industrial Linkage Programme – which provides incentives for qualified locally-assembled vehicles – to the Automotive Business Development Committee (ABDC).
She claimed that the Finance Ministry has been delaying its approvals, even after the ABDC has decided on the incentives.
“I cannot mention specifically, but many of our members have been affected by this delay.
“There are a lot of models which we have showed during the motor show and we are supposed to launch them, but until today, we still haven’t got the official prices,” Aishah told reporters during the MAA press briefing.
In response to Aishah’s remark, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) issued a statement yesterday, clarifying that the ABDC was not a new set-up and has been in existence since 2006.
According to the ministry, the members of MAA have been applying for incentives to ABDC since 2006.
“In the previous administration, some vehicle companies had obtained the incentives directly from the Finance Ministry, bypassing the ABDC. Many of the applications were approved without comprehensive evaluation in determining the return of investment to the government.
“However, in line with the aspiration of the new government, the Finance Ministry and Miti collectively agreed that the decision-making process has to be transparent and fair and should be comprehensively deliberated by ABDC,” it said.
The statement also added that all the due process and governance that has been strengthened under the current government is primarily for the purpose of “ensuring that the incentives are granted and distributed to the worthy and entitled recipients according to the prescribed regulations and guidelines”.