PETALING JAYA: The son of a former Kedah Mentri Besar has questioned Rafizi Ramli's motives in criticising the third national car project, adding that the project can instead help the country join the new technology race in automobiles.
Akhramsyah Sanusi, son of the late Tan Sri Sanusi Junid, said
"I note with bemusement Rafizi's continued projection of himself as (Prime Minister) Tun Dr Mahathir's governments' chief critic on behalf of 'the rakyat'.
"I am amused as this coincides with his contesting the deputy presidency of PKR against incumbent Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, a senior minister in the same government.
"In such a scenario, one must question Rafizi's true motives," he said on his Facebook post on Wednesday (Aug 8).
Akhramsyah had criticised the PKR vice-president's suggestion to abolish excise duty on cars and for calling for all key decisions to be discussed at the Pakatan Harapan presidential council first.
He claimed that Rafizi's proposal to abolish the excise duty was a mere exercise in being "very populist" while the proposal to discuss key decisions with the Pakatan presidential council was "very anti-democratic and inefficient".
"The last I remember, the nation did not vote for the Pakatan Presidential Council to govern Malaysia, we voted for the majority of Pakatan MPs to be chosen on a platform of having Dr Mahathir as Prime Minister.
"Dr Mahathir was then duly chosen by the majority of MPs to be sworn in as PM (prime minister).
"If Rafizi finds the notion of the new national car so objectionable, he should of course voice out, but please don't make Pakatan seem so anti-democratic!" he said.
Akhramsyah also pointed out that Rafizi's criticism had failed to note that the Government had repeatedly said that the project would be driven by the private sector, and hence, would not burden public coffers.
He suggested that PKR parliamentarians who are Ministers should raise the issue in the Cabinet.
For example, he suggested that Minister for Economics Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, or even Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, should raise objections in Cabinet.
"Isn't that how its supposed to work now Pakatan is in power?" he asked.
Akhramsyah added that Malaysians, including Rafizi, who were against the new national car project had failed to ask the proper questions.
He said the project would instead allow Malaysia to participate in areas of high technology and industry that will inadvertently bring new manufacturing, technology and other associated economic activities to the country.
"This means jobs and an opportunity to invest as well as grow the economy away from the current status-quo, but with a twist," he said.
He pointed to the past Proton project, where the car industry ended up with the capacity to develop enough home-grown content.
This meant a higher percentage of economic activity and, critically, expertise, from making and assembling cars, remained in Malaysia.
"With the new national car, we are potentially joining the new technological race for the next generation of automobiles, essentially electric vehicles or EV's whether they be battery (BEV) or partial-hybrid (PH-EV)," he said.
Akhramsyah said if the project was successful it will open up the country to the development and manufacturing of technologies like batteries, not just small AA-sized ones, but also the future solid state batteries.