However, we will have to discuss with all the relevant stakeholders first, according to deputy minister
By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The revised National Automotive Policy (NAP), which would include the development of the third national car project, is expected to be unveiled in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19).
Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Dr Ong Kian Ming said the revised policy will look at the entire automotive eco-system and be underpinned by the four pillars of connected mobility, Industry 4.0, new generation vehicles and artificial intelligence.
“We expect it to be announced in 1Q19. However, we will have to discuss with all the relevant stakeholders first,” Ong told reporters on the sidelines after officiating the Kuala Lumpur International Automotive Conference 2018 yesterday.
However, when asked about the kind of changes that would be made to the policy, Ong declined to elaborate.
“We will wait for the policy to be announced first,” he said, emphasising that any blueprint needs to be updated.
“We obviously have much more rapid advancement in electric vehicles and also the necessary ecosystem around that, such as batteries and charging stations. It is high time for a review on this particular sector,” he said.
Ong said the ministry is currently going through the process of reviewing the policy which is expected for completion by year-end.
“Right now, we are going through the review process, asking the people who have given us the proposals to come in to share with us on the proposals of the third national car and also on the larger NAP review,” he said.
Ong also dismissed that the delayed announcement of the policy — which was initially slated for completion by year-end — was due to the third national car project, saying that “it is part and parcel of the consultation progress”.
“We would have gone through the consultation process in this manner regardless of whether there is a third national car project announced or not,” he said.
On the progress of the proposed third national car project, Ong said his ministry is looking through the proposals and one of the challenges any proposals would have to face is on the financial sustainability aspect.
“One of the deciding factors would be the financial sustainability of the project as the government will not be funding this third national car project, as noted in Budget 2019,” he said, revealing that the ministry has received about 20 proposals so far.
“So, whatever proposals that we receive, they will have to take that into account.”
Meanwhile, Malaysian Automotive Association president Datuk Aishah Ahmad expressed hope for the government to continue its efforts to support the energy-efficient vehicles (EEVs) segment, as stated in the 2014 NAP.
She said the outcome from this has been favourable and that it can be seen from the number of hybrid vehicles available on the road.
“Future technology is good, but also in the 2014 NAP where they emphasised on EEVs, we would like that to continue — such as on the incentives that have helped the industry.
“Moving forward, what we want is that the policies are long-term, and we want more consultation with the industry,” Aishah said.
“It is a huge investment that the industry has to put. Hence, this is where we need the assistance from the government, and whatever has been approved previously, should continue,” she added.