KUALA LUMPUR: Some of the issues raised by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad were neither true nor accurate, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.
She said the former Prime Minister could have forgotten it although the matters were decided during his term of office.
Rafidah reiterated that she had written Dr Mahathir, who is Proton adviser, a lengthy explanation about the issues he had raised.
She had included in the letter 10 appendixes as well as minutes of relevant Cabinet meetings.
“Out of respect for him, there is no need for us to reveal the content of the letter,” she told reporters after opening a familiarisation programme for officials of investment promotion agencies here yesterday.
Dr Mahathir had questioned the issuance of approved permits (APs) to import cars, saying that the large number of these permits had led to unfair competition against national car maker Proton.
He had claimed that 54,000 of the 67,000 APs issued last year were given to 20 companies, while the remainder went to 82 companies.
Dr Mahathir had also highlighted the low prices and under-declaration of some imported cars, and the failure of a minister to investigate the matter despite directives from him when he was prime minister.
Rafidah said her letter covered all issues raised by Dr Mahathir, including matters pertaining to the Asean Free Trade Area, Naza Kia and the national car status given to some car makers which used only 40% local content (Proton has 80%).
She also submitted to Dr Mahathir the list of AP holders.
“I explained to Dr Mahathir why some of the things he said was wrong, with proof, such as files and minutes of Cabinet meetings,” she said.
Rafidah, who was directed by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to write to Dr Mahathir, said the Prime Minister was satisfied with her explanation.
“Because Dr Mahathir had said a few things to the media on my and my ministry’s roles on certain matters, I had to explain to the Cabinet the real situation as some (of the statements Dr Mahathir made) were untrue and inaccurate,” she said.
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