IPOH: International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz must explain the basis for issuing more than 28,000 Approved Permits (APs) to four people so far this year, said Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang.
Commending Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for naming those who had received APs, he said this held promise that the country was turning to a new chapter of transparency and national integrity.
Lim said it was now Rafidah's turn to be transparent and reveal why the bulk of the APs were issued to Tan Sri Nasimuddin S.M. Amin, Datuk Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Datuk Mohd Haniff Abdul Aziz and Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad.
What is the basis for the issuance of 12,524 APs to Nasimuddin alone through his five companies? If they can be sold for an average of RM30,000 each, the ministry would have provided him with the opportunity to make some RM375mil.
The four of them would stand to make some RM850mil this year. This is mind boggling and I am utterly flabbergasted, he said in a statement yesterday.
The Government should reveal the amount of tax paid by approved permit (AP) holders as the next step after making the AP list public, said PAS.
While praising the move by Abdullah as transparent and prudent, PAS vice-president Husam Musa said the list raised new questions on several issues, such as how the distribution of the APs affected the standing of national car Proton.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the Prime Ministers move was a welcome initiative, as it helped promote transparency and accountability.
There is a need for Rafidah now to issue the list of past recipients of APs, he added.
Meanwhile, Tahb Auto Sdn Bhd has clarified that Datuk Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim was not a director or managing director of the firm as indicated in the list issued by the Prime Minister's office.
Tahb Auto chairman Tunku Datuk Zainal Tengku Izham said in a statement that he had also never held any of the two posts.
In Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER) said it was a mark of good governance to reveal the names of people receiving Approved Permits but urged the policymakers to re-examine the criteria for their award to ensure that there was no abuse of the system.
There is a need for a monitoring system to ensure people use it for what it is meant to be, MIER executive director Dr Mohamed Ariff told a press conference.