PETALING JAYA: Sales of cars have not been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, says Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
He said this was because industry players had an existing online presence, which enabled them to continue serving the public during the movement control order.
Referring to the online vehicle ownership transfer system, he said the willingness of industry players under the Federation of Motor and Credit Companies Associations of Malaysia (FMCCAM) to embrace technology was laudable.
"Because they were bold to embrace technology and offer online services, the automobile industry can still serve the public during the MCO.
"Their efforts to go online also paid off handsomely as online vehicle ownership transfers account for an average of RM40mil each year," he said in his speech at FMCCAM's virtual 43rd annual general meeting on Saturday (June 12).
He said it was "good news" as car sales were not affected by the pandemic except for the initial lockdown in March and April last year.
Dr Wee said the government would continue to listen to the business community for their feedback on issues affecting them, as both the government and the private sectors are facing unprecedented challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the online vehicle ownership transfer systems, the Temporary Ownership Transfer System and its eSerahan Tukar Milik (eSTM) extension allow vehicle owners to conduct ownership transfers without visiting the Road Transport Department (JPJ) offices.
Using a MyKad and thumbprint verification of both parties, ownership of vehicles can be transferred to used car dealers temporarily for a period of six months.
If the vehicles are unsold within that time, ownership automatically becomes permanent for used car dealers.
FMCCAM president Datuk Khor Chong Boon said despite most business sectors being affected, car sales had grown 20% as 347, 000 online ownership transfers took place between January and May this year.
"Last year, we achieved our target and saw 601, 000 ownership transfers. This would not have happened without the systems as these cases would have required 1.2 million trips and manpower if done offline," he said.
The online systems, added Khor, also made JPJ's work easier by digitally processing the collection of RM40mil in processing fees.
He called on the government to further simplify the vehicle ownership transfer process by allowing the system partners to print out the paper version of the vehicle ownership certificate, which now can only be printed at JPJ offices.
"As for the road tax document, all our members are ready to invest and set up kiosks at all state associations and key auto cities to make things easier, without passing the burden to the buyers.
"We also call on the government to allow us to conduct vehicle inspection by setting up a working committee together and include our participation while drafting relevant policies," he added.