KUALA LUMPUR: If car makers here continue to ignore government reminders to install airbags in their vehicles, they may be forced by law to do so.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy said the Government would for now continue to coax local car makers to include airbags.
It is believed that Proton and Perodua were reluctant to do so, as adding airbags would mean having to raise car prices, although their models exported to Europe have airbags.
Chan, who spoke to reporters yesterday after launching the third Golden Bull Awards for the country’s outstanding small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), said consumer awareness was also a catalyst in making car makers comply with safety standards.
“In Europe, for instance, there is no legal requirement for airbags, but consumerism is so widespread there that cars without airbags are not marketable.”
On the high cost of airbags in Malaysia, Chan said this was because only two companies were believed to be making them.
“One way to cut the price is to have more manufacturers,” said Chan, adding that SMEs should venture into airbag production.
On the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, Chan said the Government had approved a masterplan to turn the airport into an international aerospace centre.
He said the making of aircraft parts would be a key activity at the centre, “and this is an area that our SMEs can also move into.”
The Government, he said, would court suitable international companies to locate their aircraft maintenance and overhaul activities at the airport.
“Once we have successfully attracted players from other countries, there would be plenty of business for SMEs involved in this area of work.”
Chan said it would be profitable for SMEs to involve themselves in the aeronautics business as aircraft were made up of many parts sourced from multiple suppliers.
“Take for example the landing gear, which is made up of 1,000 parts that are all sourced from SME manufacturers.”