Car age cap mix-up shows too much on Hisham's plate, DAP MP says

Cars for sale are displayed in a shopping mall in Putrajaya on October 25, 2008. — Reuters pic
Cars for sale are displayed in a shopping mall in Putrajaya on October 25, 2008. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Putrajaya’s sudden denial of a proposal to limit vehicle life spans despite previous reports shows that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein cannot handle both the defence and transport portfolios, a DAP MP said today.

Seputeh lawmaker Teresa Kok suggested the proposal to impose a 12 year cap for cars had been framed without considering its impact on consumers and that Hishammuddin had commented on the controversy without fully grasping the potential burden to the public.

“It is plain to all that such a new policy if implemented will bring much hardship to the people, yet the acting transport minister was prepared to go ahead and implement it.

“Did he actually understand or have the time to understand the burden such a policy will bring to the people when there are more than 22 million vehicles on the road in Malaysia with more than five million older than 10 years?” Teresa said in a statement. 

Yesterday, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told Parliament during oral question time that the federal government has no plans to go ahead with the proposal to impose a 12-year cap on the lifespan of cars as the government does not want to burden the rakyat.

He later told the media that it was not true that the policy would be implemented and said that it was speculation by the opposition.

But Kok today cited news reports of Abdul Aziz saying on Sunday that the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will decide soon on a policy to impose a lifespan on cars.

She then noted that Hishammuddin was reported as saying on Tuesday that the ministry “may have to go ahead with the proposal.”

Kok said the available news reports on the matter showed Putrajaya had indeed backtracked on the proposal.

“So the truth is that the federal government has quickly made a U-turn due to strong public objections,” she said.

Kok then said Hishammuddin’s failure to swiftly deal with another pressing issue — the status of 700,000 summonses issued from the now temporarily defunct automated enforcement system (AES) — further showed he was unable to head two ministries effectively.

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