Monday, 30 July 2012

Car taxes create jobs for cronies, rent-seekers

YOURSAY 'So be it, if after all these years Proton can't compete internationally, it might as well close down.'

'Slashing car prices will cause unemployment'

Swipenter: Protecting Proton has caused us to lose out to Thailand as the car manufacturing hub of this region. That in itself has meant losing tens of thousands of jobs, billions in foreign direct investment (FDI) and a vibrant supply-chain industry to support an efficient car industry.

Now what does Proton have to offer? Inferior quality cars at high prices with the whole country subsidising a few thousand workers working directly and indirectly for Proton for the last 30-odd years.

After close to three decades, what sort of branding Proton has? None, and that not even in Malaysia. What it has done instead is earning plenty of jokes on its product quality and finishing.

Onyourtoes: If we completely liberalise the auto market in Malaysia, there will be multiple increases in foreign investment and high value-added jobs in the country. We should have done this a long time ago.

Imagine without the moronic national auto policy, Malaysia would have become the auto hub of Southeast Asia and beyond, a long time ago. Malaysia would have become the manufacturing, logistic and R&D (research and development) base for numerous foreign firms.

Instead, we are struck with one uncompetitive automaker plus numerous inefficient assemblies and rent-seeking AP (approved permit) holders.

I hope this debate on the auto industry will open the eyes of Malaysians to the difficulty of dismantling cronyism and rent-seeking culture within our midst.

Pakatan Rakyat has not even done anything yet - they have only proposed and talked about removing high car taxes - but just look at the reactionary forces now at work.

Cloudnine: It is so easy to cut car prices - cut out the APs and slash just a little bit from customs duty and voila, you save RM10,000 on a car.

Only the Umno cronies get poorer, but not the citizens. This government has been robbing from the poor to give to the Umno rich for far too long.

Proton belongs to former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his cronies. Do you want to support these pirates?

Hasrul Junaidi: It doesn't matter if a few cronies and beneficiaries of the national car industry suffer for the greater good of the rakyat. Take care of the rakyat and not your own pockets.

Vgeorgemy: A statement such as ‘Slashing car prices will cause unemployment' is nothing but a factoid (a piece of information that becomes accepted as true because it is repeated very often, especially in the mainstream media).

It is well known that any decrease in price makes cars affordable to the rakyat, thereby increasing the demand for cars, both imported and local.

The expected increase in employment in the repairs and maintenance sector would far exceed the loss of employment if any, due to the abolition of excise duties.

Tekee: Firstly, the statement "slashing car prices will cause unemployment" is basically devious. Secondly, no one spoke of the employment disruption caused in the mid-eighties when Proton muscled its way into the open local car market and dealerships, and displaced them into oblivion.

Thirdly, we, the people, have to continue to throw good money after bad.

Anonymous #15315623: It's the exact opposite. There will be more jobs for automotive workers, the real workers, not the ones who get cozy positions and get paid without the need to do anything.

There will be more production plants located in Malaysia and more supporting industries, and only one loser - the cronies.

Rayfire: So be it, if after all these years Proton can't compete internationally, it might as well close down. Don't ridicule the people with your narrow-minded approach.

Starr: The response from Malay Vehicle Importers and Traders Association (Pekema) shows they only approach the issue from the narrow industry point of view, but the broader picture is that the whole nation has been made to carry a unprofitable, uncompetitive industry with absolutely no real hope of ever making it.

The country has suffered much and long enough on what's essentially an ill-conceived misadventure of Mahathirism.

The project has caused not only the misallocation of resources resulting in government bailouts, but also the side effects - of APs, corruption, cronyism and nepotism, the manufacturing supply chains and the importation of foreign cars, high household debt in the form of inflated car loans, etc.

Whatever the case, Proton has never been worthwhile in every sense of the word and any responsible, credible government would have ended the suffering of the rakyat rather than merely serving the narrow interests of a selected few.

Anonymous #08167141: Wake up people. Don't buy any new cars until there is a change of government. This is an open admission we are paying through the noses for our cars just so the cronies can become filthy rich.

Already the household debt among Malaysians is untenable, no thanks to high car and property prices. And Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nor Mohamed Yakcop wants Malaysians to be heavily in debt so that they can siphon even more money from us.

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