Monday, November 30, 2009

Approved Permits (APs) for Cronies (II)

I wasn't particularly happy with the response provided by the Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) to my questions regarding "auctioning" the Approved Permits (APs) to import cars during the committee stage budget debate as blogged earlier.

I argued that if the intent of the 'APs' are to encourage bumiputera participation in the auto sector, then the current system doesn't work either for the award of APs are completely discretionary and are given to a handful of parties who are closely connected to MITI.
Tuan Pua Kiam Wee [Petaling Jaya Utara]: Terima kasih Yang Berhormat Menteri. Terima kasih Tuan Pengerusi. Mengenai dasar AP untuk membantu bumiputera. Perkara tersebut kita tidak bantah, kita tidak kata tidak boleh tetapi untuk membantu kaum bumiputera pun boleh ada lelong terbuka bagi semua peniaga bumiputera untuk mengambil bahagian dalam sektor ini. Untuk membantu bumiputera tidak sepatutnya bermaksud pemberian AP ini adalah mengikut cara yang ditentukan oleh kementerian sahaja, iaitu ikut siapa yang dia hendak beri, kementerian berikan kepada dia.

Boleh juga terbuka kepada semua bumiputera dan kita rasa untuk mempertingkatkan daya persaingan dan juga business bumiputera, kita tidak patut memberikan keuntungan kepada syarikat-syarikat ini melalui satu AP. Mereka tidak patut untung daripada AP tersebut, iaitu harga beli RM10,000 tetapi boleh terus dapat keuntungan RM30,000 daripada AP dan yang patut kita berikan adalah khas dia boleh dapat AP untuk mengimport kereta, tetapi keuntungan anda perlu datang daripada pengimportan kereta dan bukan kerana mendapat AP.

Itu cara kita meningkatkan daya persaingan mereka, kalau tidak mereka hanya dependent daripada RM30,000 yang mereka boleh untung daripada AP sahaja. Kita hendak mereka untung daripada business dan bukan daripada AP yang diberikan oleh kerajaan yang mengehadkan pengimportan kereta. Terima kasih.

Dato' Mustapa Mohamed: Tuan Pengerusi, saya mohon izin untuk wind up perkara ini... Mengenai perkara ini saya ingin memaklumkan seperti saya sebutkan tadi perkara ini amat rumit, sudah 30 tahun menimbulkan pelbagai kontroversi dalam dan luar Dewan, amat memeningkan kepala. Bukan tidak ada satu penyelesaian yang jelas, tetapi yang penting lagi ialah kita harus ada satu process transition.

Itu yang kita buat pada hari ini dan kalau kita buka kepada semua umpamanya seperti mana Yang Berhormat katakan, kita dapati bahawa ada juga kelemahan. Bukan tidak ada kelemahan dan yang akan monopolinya mungkin beberapa orang tertentu juga yang mampu, mungkin dua tiga orang. Dari segi hasil mungkin bagus, tetapi dari segi kalau kita hendak bantu bumiputera mereka yang kaya-raya mungkin merekalah yang dapat semua sekali.

Tuan Pua Kiam Wee [Petaling Jaya Utara]: Akan tetapi sekarang pun bagi empat orang sahaja.

Dato' Mustapa Mohamed: Satu orang sahaja. Jadi dapat kita bantu beberapa ratus orang, dari seorang sahaja dapat manfaat. Jadi cadangan Yang Berhormat, kita sudah kaji semua sekali dan kita rasakan it is not perfect lah dengan sempurna. Ada kelemahan juga Yang Berhormat sebut tadi, tidak semestinya betul dan baik belaka.
I believe that the argument that the Minister put forward that when the APs are openly auctioned, then only the rich will be able to purchase the APs is complete nonsense. Even if you are rich, if you pay an exorbitant price for the AP and is unable to pass the cost ultimately to the consumer, you will still lose you pants in the business! So final bidding price will certainly not be dominated by the so-called "rich" businessmen, but instead by those who are able to maximise efficiency, lower cost and market best, will be able to afford bidding at slightly higher prices and yet make reasonable profits for their business.

Yet, the Government is unwilling to do so, letting these AP hawkers earn billions at the Government's expense. However, when the Government is short of funds, they'll turn to the rakyat to squeeze more blood out of the people with more taxes like the real estate property gains tax, the credit card tax and soon, the goods and services tax.


Anonymous said...

We all know where the AP money has gone. Do you think UMNO will kill the goose that lays golden eggs?

Keep harping on the AP (for eg., 1) with auction - no need GST or lower GST
2) with auction - keep the money in a fund for truly needy Bumis
3) with auction - no need for credit card tax

Mustapa is highly intelligent but yet come up with such filmsy reply (the disease seemed to contagious among our dear ministers).

OTL said...

Dear YB Tony,

Haha... I thought this is a joke... "lu tau wa tau" la!!!


amoker said...

can't blame people who dun have the capacity to think and accept ideas.

Unknown said...

Dear Sir,
Beware of yourself in the street. They may take you as busy body spoiling their bows of soups. Your constantly perpetuation of talking too many things about the APs, may stir up anger upon against you.
By the way,this isn't a secret in our society about the AP. Government has given those valuable permits such as AP and other licenses to those well connected elites. That's why some Malays are extremely rich.
I hope those considered poorer Malays could be able to read your blog about it and get to know why they are poorer compare to those government cronies.
Such an unfair policy has to be changed its crooked abnormality. Hence whatever implementations of profiting policies have to be squarely splitting between people for goodness sake. Why just give it to a few people and neglect all at large?
It means government is supporting cronyism and corruption. National wealth is pirated by some powerful ruling elites in a way that people in the street are within the mist and nincompoop who are easy to be tricked.

Anonymous said...

Corrections Tony, they will always rob the rakyat. With the issuance of these APs, the rakyats who buys the cars are actually contributing to part of the governments wealth. Its all about taking from the rakyat at the end of the day. Rich or poor, they'll take from us. But the issue is after taking from us, they are not providing us equivalent benefits like good public health care, good road systems, good education system, etc. We have to get rid of leeches stuck on the governments coffers for donkey years now. Similar to real leeches in the wild, you'd need to find them on your body first before removing them.
Hmm... these leeches are known right? Maybe there is a reason why the leeches are not removed? Perhaps an illness within? I know they are used in some medical treatment ;)

Unknown said...

UMNO ministers have never experienced "free market forces" because they have always been operating and fleecing the rakyat through fixed or negotiated deals. Those who make bids are doing so with their own money. Even if you want to restrict the bidding to certain segments of society, open tenders still bring more money to our coffers than those sold to UMNO goons at a privileged price.

If APs become too expensive because of bidding, the sales of locally made vehicles will boom.

Isn't this what the government have been publicly wishing all this while?

Anonymous said...

I dare to challenge them, how much Bumiputera do they help?

I always support we should help those with low income, not high education peoples.

I respect Bumiputera right, but no "con你"....

Anonymous said...

Have you seen Malaysian insider report? It says that Najib only plan to pass it but not implement GST only after GE13. In other words, he plan to BORROW the money based on the passing the GST law...

I said it before. Najib have good financial engineers working for him and have to watch out for it...