Frankly Speaking: Lack of premium

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on November 19, 2018 - November 25, 2018.
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In January, former minister of international trade and industry (MITI) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamad said the National Automotive Policy (NAP) 2018 is a work in progress and would be announced by the middle of the year.

Then, in April, Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) CEO Datuk Madani Sahari said NAP 2018 would be unveiled in the third quarter and that MAI, together with MITI, was reviewing the policy.  The new policy, he added, would be spearheaded by four key initiatives — connected mobility, Industry 4.0, new generation vehicles and artificial intelligence.

It is now midway through November and there is still no news about the NAP. Worse still, there does not seem to be any update on why the policy has been delayed.

Two years ago, market research agency Nielsen revealed that Malaysia had the world’s third-highest rate of car ownership,  with 93% of households owning a car.

Quite a number of global original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have set up base here. Malaysia has 28 OEMs, 650 parts and components manufacturers, and 53,011 after-sales business companies. About 30,000 vehicles, worth RM1 billion, are exported each year and exports of parts and components are valued at RM11 billion annually.  The sector supports more than 750,000 jobs, contributes 4.5% to the national gross domestic product and pays RM6 billion a year in taxes to the government’s coffers.

And now, with a third national car in the works, what has become of the NAP? The Pakatan Harapan government should explain.

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