The federal government has agreed to review the measures to ease the burden of companies regarding the open approved import permits, especially the fee of RM10,000, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said the new proposal would be forwarded to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) for consideration together with the Finance Ministry.
“MITI Minister, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, and me are awaiting proposals from the MITI for consideration by me,” he said.
Najib said this at the launch of Wisma Yayasan Persatuan Peniaga dan Pengimport Kenderaan Melayu Malaysia (Pekema) today.
The prime minister said since the introduction of the RM10,00 fee in 2012 the government has collected about RM2 billion.
However, Najib said, under the present economic condition, the decision was stressful to those who were mainly engaged in open AP business.
“The AP fee has taken its toll, especially the cash flow, of those involved in the business,” he said.
According to a report released by the Malaysian Automotive Association, vehicle sales from January to November 2016 fell by 13.73 per cent to 515.293 units, from 597.306 units in the same period last year.
He said under the National Automotive Policy (NAP), the Open AP Policy, which was initially supposed to end on Dec 31, 2015, was continued with improvements under the New Open AP Policy.
The improvements included giving opportunities for new companies which were eligible to be involved in import business, distribution and sales of used car and motor cycles, he said.
The prime minister said the policy was aimed at continuing the goal of Bumiputera economic empowerment agenda and expand their involvement in the car industry.
He also hoped the Open APs would be in line with the circumstances and needs of the current market and help enhance the capacity and competitiveness, diversify business activities and did not just depend on imported used cars and motorcycles alone.
“In the car sector alone there are many business opportunities which can be considered like distribution of new cars, making components, ‘re-manufacturing’, the establishment of a recycling car inspection centres,” he said.
He said the NAP has set a target to increase competitiveness of the local car industry and make Malaysia a regional hub for energy-efficient vehicles.
Meanwhile, Najib praised Pekema for paying for the RM25 million building via funds from members.
“This is a hallmark of the success of the Bumiputera entrepreneurs’s efforts from the Open AP Policy,” he said.