KUALA LUMPUR: The 2004 Approved Permit list was released yesterday and it showed that the same companies that received the most APs this year were also the biggest beneficiaries.
The latest list showed that 15,079 open APs and 66,277 franchise APs were issued last year.
The order to make public the list was made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Johannesburg at 8.30pm (Malaysian time), and within minutes a ministry of trade and industry official called media offices here to announce that the list would be sent out shortly.
The list released yesterday showed that Naganuri Sdn Bhd and Milan Auto Sdn Bhd obtained APs last year but not this year.
These two companies were not given APs this year because the foreign principal companies had terminated their franchise, the International Trade and Industry Ministry said in the statement.
(Since October last year, Sime Darby Bhd has been awarded the exclusive distribution rights for the Alfa Romeo brand in Malaysia, a franchise formerly held by Milan Auto).
The list for this year that was released on July 18 also did not include two companies – Eminent Century Sdn Bhd for Lamborghini franchise, and Euromobil Sdn Bhd for a Mitsubishi franchise – the ministry said in the statement.
The statement also noted that shareholders named in the companies that received APs was based on information in the ministry’s records.
“Even though the companies should inform the ministry of changes, there are some who don’t give updated information,” the statement added.
Also, some of the names in the previous list had been removed from the latest one. Former Military intelligence chief Lt-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad is no longer listed as a shareholder in Weststar Motorsport Sdn Bhd.
Also taken out of the list is Tan Sri Vincent Tan as a shareholder of Hyumal Motor Sdn Bhd.
The two men had stated that they no longer held stakes in these companies.
The ministry said any changes to its AP policy had been disseminated through discussion and via its website.
Refuting claims that the AP franchise was not announced to the automotive traders, MITI said it had been announced though the Malay Vehicle Importers and Dealers Association of Malaysia.
The current policy does not limit the number of franchises a company can secure, the statement said, adding that it also did not prevent any qualified quarter, including retired bumiputra civil servants, from applying for an AP.
The statement also denied the ministry had given national car status to the multipurpose vehicle Naza Ria, saying only Proton and Perodua cars enjoyed this status.
But the Government, it said, had given a “suitable incentive package to Naza Ria MPVs based on proposed facts of the project, which included total investment, making Malaysia a regional production centre for KIA vehicles for the local and export markets; and a network of local component industries and distributors.”
The statement also reiterated certain points highlighted by the minister, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz.
It also noted that imports comprised only 9.6% of the total number of passenger and commercial vehicles produced in the country last year.
“The importation of completely built-up units or CBUs does not jeopardise the local car industry due to high Customs taxes,” said the statement.
“In fact, the small number of imported cars will promote healthy competition in the local motor vehicle industry, and prepare them to open their markets to competition internationally.”
On the criteria for awarding APs, the ministry said if a company used 80% or more of the APs it received, for the following year it would be given another 20%.
Those that used 75%-80% of the allocation would have their allocation increased by 10% in the following year. AP holders who used 60%-70% of their allocation would have their allocation increased by 5%.
For those who used less than 60% of the number approved, their allocation for the following year would be based on the number of vehicles they had brought in in the previous year.
Earlier, Abdullah said the list would be released in its entirety, adding that there was no need to keep it from public scrutiny.
He ordered Rafidah to furnish the complete list of AP holders, including those who have car showrooms.
“In keeping the list from the public, we create a negative perception. That is not right,” he said.
He said the Government had no intention of not publishing the entire list.
“If there is anything that had been left out inadvertently, then we will furnish further (information). But Rafidah would be in a better position (to provide the whole list). I have asked for the whole list, up until 2004.”
But before he could complete his answer, Rafidah stepped in and said: “2005.”
Abdullah said he wanted the full list released for all to peruse.
At this point, Rafidah interjected again, saying: “We can publish the list of showrooms, how these people got showrooms. We’ve got all that.”
Abdullah said the Government was looking at reviewing its policy on awarding open APs.
“I am looking at APs from a major aspect. We may have to review some policies with regard to the award of APs. We may also have stricter regulations to ensure that those who hold open APs will not abuse them.
“When they get the APs that they applied for, they should be importing and selling cars, not selling APs.
“The public does not approve of, and is certainly unhappy with, the habit of selling APs,” he said.
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