Thursday, July 28, 2005

Topic of Interest: Dr M & AP

I try to abstrain from political related articles/posts in my blog, but these last few days...i can't help but to notice the political (or should i say boardroom politics) issues in the country. All started with Dr M, our beloved and most respected former prime minister slamming the government on the AP issued to certain individuals, depriving other 'bumiputeras' of their share of 'national wealth' :) One thing lead to another, and in the end, the senior minister gave her explanation to Dr M. The nation was waiting for him to come back to the country (he was holidaying somewhere in the overseas) and once he did...he delivered what all of us had been waiting for...a BLAST!!

Yeap..the national newspapers were all covered his interview with the press..and even after he stepped down from the helm, he is very much still as the same..and i can't help to notice how much strength he still tongued as always!!

What is this whole AP (Approved Permit) issue is about? What is AP? Why so many of us are not aware of this before being brought up by Dr M? Why Dr M is so pissed off with our International Trade Minister? Here's the statement issued by Dr M (As appeared in TheStar Online):

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement on the AP issue


1. I want to make this explanation because newspapers and TV cannot possibly report all the facts to the public.

2. The question of Proton is not a question of differences in statements made by individuals or a quarrel between a minister and a retiree. It is about a national industry. At a time when many car companies have gone bankrupt and closed shop, such as Austin, Morris, MG-Rover and other huge companies like General Motors and Chrysler, Proton is still alive and healthy. It has more than RM2bil in cash and does not depend on the Government or banks for the more than the RM2bil it paid for its new Tanjung Malim plant. Surely this success has at least a little to do with efficient management, especially considering the impact of so many foreign cars being imported at such low prices.

3. APs (Approved Permit) were first introduced in 1970, before the existence of Proton. At that time, not many Malays could enter the automotive business because the agents for Kah Motors (Honda), UMW (Toyota) and Cycle and Carriage (Mercedes) and others comprised non-bumiputras. They refused to give bumiputra businessmen a chance.

4. Cars assembled in the country or imported by agents, dealers or official importers could not be imported by anyone else without paying a commission to the official agent.

5. Therefore, APs were given to import recon cars. Although many bumiputras sold their APs, there were some who succeeded in this business. Among them is Tan Sri Nasimuddin S.M Amin. Without APs and Proton, there would not have been any bumiputra automotive businessmen. When Proton started many bumiputras successfully become Proton agents to sell their cars.

6. Proton production has successfully reduced the import of foreign cars by non-bumiputra agents. Of course if there was higher demand for Proton cars, there would be even more bumiputra agents and the cars would be selling like hotcakes.

7. On the other hand, if so many APs are given to a small number of bumiputras, and they make no preparations whatsoever to do business, then of course the number of bumiputra automotive businessmen will not increase and Proton sales by Proton agents, who are mostly bumiputra, too will not sell so well.

8. It is clear that the giving of APs had only benefited a handful of bumiputras, caused losses to Proton agents, especially the bumiputras, and reduced the opportunity of other bumiputras to become Proton car dealers. It is not true that giving out so many APs had increased the number of bumiputras in the car business, especially when only two or three people who have no showrooms have received thousands of APs.

9. In the past, open APs enabled the holder to import many car brands. When the franchise APs were introduced, the franchise holder could only import a particular car brand. Those who in the past could bring in those cars through the open APs now can no longer import those cars. The ones who got the franchise APs are not automotive businessmen but former ministry officials.

They got thousands of APs although they do not have the facilities to assemble or sell these cars. They only surrendered this (for a price) to others who had the capability to assemble and sell those cars.

10. The question of the quality of Proton does not arise because Proton has succeeded in penetrating sophisticated markets like the United Kingdom and Australia. Even so new models might still have some flaws. But even thousands of known car brands have been withdrawn. This includes Mitsubishi, Chevrolet, Ford and other brands.

11. This explanation is done for the sake for the country’s dignity and interest and a national industry that has been a success. I do not hold any interest in Proton. As Proton adviser, I do not get paid even a sen. If my son received some APs (95APs) to bring in Porsche, this fulfilled the criteria. To sell 50 of those cars is not easy. Please do not drag my family into this when doing something that should not be done.

12. I have to reveal in full because of the national interest of the industry, not because I did not get APs as alleged by a writer in an English newspaper.

13. I received the explanation letter from the International Trade and Industry Minister. I find that the contents of the letter and the annexes did not substantiate the claims made by the Minister.

i)Approval for Naza Ria to become a national car,

ii) The number of APs which were issued between 2004-2005,

iii) The basis and conditions for the issuing of APs,

iv) The types of APs issued,

v) The names of those (whether company or individuals) who received APs and the number of APs which they received.

14. In the Umno General Assembly, the Minister made several false claims. She also, during a television interview, alleged that I had forgotten this and that. Although I am already 80 years old, I am still not yet senile.

15. Initially, after replying to the Minister’s letter with a copy sent to the Cabinet, I had not intended to make any more statements. It was up to the Cabinet to decide what was the truth and what was not.

However, because the Minister did not make statements which were true to the Umno delegates and the public, I feel compelled to give an explanation.

16. When I was Prime Minister, there was no decision by the government to not make public the name of AP holders. Maybe the present government had made this decision (not to make public). The question is whether this decision was made before or after the Minister made the statement that it was the government’s policy not to reveal the names of AP holders.

17. I was once Trade and Industry Minister. The Minister explained that there were many who were given APs without fulfilling the conditions when she took over the minister, and that her move to cancel the APs which were issued to them showed the how stern she was. Who was the Trade and Industry Minister before the current Minister? If one did not mentioned it, one may think it was me. Giving of APs to former government officers

18. Although there is no official prohibition against government officers who had just retired (optional) from being given opportunities from the government. However, there are questions why these former officers who did not fulfil conditions were given thousands of APs.

19. We know many automotive businessmen, including members of the Malay Car Importers and Dealers Association of Malaysia (Pekema), had applied for APs but were not given any. They also were not told about the franchise AP category which would have enabled them to be given many APs. There was no widespread awareness on franchise APs among car businessmen. This category was suddenly introduced and only certain people received many APs in this category. And AP holders who had earlier imported franchise brands were no longer allowed to import those brands.

20. I am not envious of rich Malays but their wealth must be obtained through correct means. I have often told off those who sold their APs to become rich quickly. It is obvious that the sale of APs is widespread now. It is the responsibility of the Minister to monitor the situation to ensure that foul play did not occur.

21. A detailed explanation on the correspondence among the various parties will follow to avoid any dispute.

There you go, who can 'counter attack' sizzling comments from Dr M-a man who lead the nation into industralization?? Apart of this statement, he also gave a blasting press conference (compared to the emotional one by the International Trade Minister)..He founds the list of AP given to him incomplete, he founds the minister involved was not talking the truth, he founds a lot hanky-panky going on..

Now that Proton's CEO had been given the boot..What is going to happen next? I am waiting eagerly..

'We have seen foriegners running Nissan and doing very well. Actually Malaysians are not very capable and we should get foriegners, including to run our country. I mean, we can have a foreigner as Prime Minister, why not, if he has the brain' -Dr. M


Keshi said...

Sorry sweety I hate politics :)


tulipspeaks said...

kekeke..its okie darling

Keshi said...

hehe...u know there's not a single politician I can decently admire lol!


tulipspeaks said... is that bad huh, keshi??...well, i don't see myself as a future,i guess u will never will get to admire one! :P

Keshi said...

hehe good one amu :)


tulipspeaks said... last, keshi got my pet name right..hehehe..

Keshi said...

aww so ur Amu...cute! Im glad I got that right :)


Anonymous said...

lol ( Xtra comment for the day = u n politics? lol again )

tulipspeaks said... i know who is this anonymous person..

dear anonymous,
it is not about me and politics..politics doesn't not interest me the way it does for u..but i am also living right here in Malaysia, and i certainly not deaf or it wrong to speak up what i think about this issue??

Anonymous said...

/me gigles ;) .. nice blog anyway


tulipspeaks said...

Mr LoL,
thank you for ur comment..pls do come again :P

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