THE suggestion by Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz that the Approved Permit system be abolished is causing consternation among local car manufacturers and assemblers, not to mention her colleagues in the Cabinet.
“I don’t know whether she means it, but if the Government abolishes the AP system, anyone can import cars into this country. You’ll have free importation of cars, and that’s going to devastate local car makers and assemblers,” said a senior car company executive.
The Government is already having a tough time trying to formulate a new national automotive policy that will protect the local car industry while conforming with the demands of globalisation and liberalisation, and Rafidah’s comments are not helpful at this stage, adding to the confusion in the industry and among the public.
No doubt what she said about abolishing the AP system was a personal opinion (not shared by the Cabinet, she admitted), but coming from such a senior member of the Government and who, until recently, was in charge of the issuance of APs, is certainly inappropriate and wrongly timed.
It’s another faux pas from a once savvy minister.