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National Automotive Policy – still stuck in neutral

Saturday October 31, 2009
National Automotive Policy – still stuck in neutral

The National Automotive Policy has been revamped to now include several new measures. But are they enough to move Malaysia’s auto industy ahead of its regional rivals?

WHEN International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed admitted at a press conference on Wednesday that Malaysia was behind Thailand in the auto industry, there were no gasps of disbelief nor expressions of shock.
However, there must have been a reflection of regret that Malaysia has lost much ground after it had stormed into the lead in the regional auto business when it launched the national car project in the mid-1980s.
Now, we have been overtaken by a neighbouring country that has basically given its investors the very things that have been asked of the Malaysian government all this time.
The “loss” to Malaysia may amount to billions of dollars and employment opportunities many times the size in Malaysia that have migrated northwards. This time around, though, the Government intends to rectify the situation.
Although the broad objectives of the national auto policy (NAP) review do not deviate much from the original policy announced in 2006, the Government has spelt out its intention of growing the industry and developing its long-term competitiveness with a slight twist.
“Given the strengths and weaknesses of the Malaysian automotive industry, the Government’s move to focus on high value added segments makes sense,” says Kavan Mukhtyar, partner and head of automotive and transportation practice, Asia Pacific, Frost & Sullivan.
“By focusing on the luxury vehicle, electric vehicle/hybrid/precision engineering segments, the Government hopes to attract high value added new investments without competing directly with Thailand, and at the same time continuing support for the national car makers that focus mainly on the compact and sub-compact vehicle segments.
“The NAP review has also clearly signalled that Malaysia will go through the process of gradual rather than rapid liberalisation. The clear timelines attached with the liberalisation process give enough time for the domestic players across the value chain to become regionally competitive or to diversify into other businesses.”
One of the main differences between the 2009 auto policy and its predecessor is the granting of full-fledged manufacturing licences to foreign auto companies, in categories that do not compete with the national passenger car players.
“Considering the competition from Thailand, which has firmly established itself as the ‘Detroit of Asia’, the lifting of the freeze on manufacturing licences is a good move that puts Malaysia on the right path to attracting foreign direct investments by global carmakers wishing to expand their operations in the region,’’ said CIMB Research in a note.

Turning to Europe
The carte blanche given for new manufacturing operations of certain type of cars, such as those above the 1,800cc and RM150,000 in value, is a start, but the issue is, will manufacturers bite?
There is a school of thought that foreign car companies from Europe may pay a little more attention to the measured liberalised environment in Malaysia.
OSK Research, in its note on the NAP, points out that Thailand trumps Malaysia on incentives as it offers lower excise duties on vehicle prices and the exemption of import duty on plant machinery, in addition to having an already established supply chain.
The only problem is that to qualify, investors need to fork out a huge sum of money, the minimum being RM1bil.
“To date, Thailand has seven global OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and a few smaller ones that have set up plants with capacity totaling 1.625 million units as of 2008. These are mainly OEMs from Japan (Toyota, Mitsubishi, Isuzu, Honda, Nissan) and US (Ford and General Motors).
“As none represents the European region, we may potentially see Malaysia trying to attract global OEMs from this region instead. This was hinted in the announcement, with respect to relaxation of the ruling on foreign manufacturers in the luxury passenger car segment,’’ said the research house.
Having competitive incentives is one thing, but the years of distrust and doubt that foreign players have built up against the direction of Malaysian auto policy, is working against the possibility of them committing huge sums of money in the future.
“Fiscal incentives and flexibility in ownership are just a few factors to attract FDI (foreign direct investment). Foreign investors will evaluate the entire ecosystem in Malaysia, including the availability of supporting supplier industries, access to regional markets, domestic demand, availability of human resources,’’ says Kavan of Frost & Sullivan.
“For example, to become a manufacturing hub for hybrids/electric vehicles, Malaysia also needs to have an attractive home demand for such products. Follow-on measures will be critical in creating an attractive ecosystem for foreign investors in the high value added segments.’’
He feels Malaysia’s biggest challenge is to strengthen the supplier base and help those suppliers develop competitiveness.
“In summary, the NAP review will definitely attract attention from the foreign investors but actual flow of investment will depend on how the entire automotive ecosystem responds to this opportunity,’’ Kavan says.

Time to change
The main thing the NAP has failed to do is to cut tariffs and consequently, the price of vehicles in the country. Maybe this is due to the already huge strain on the government budget, which has been running deficits for more than a decade now.
“Most of the consumer-centric measures are more towards improving safety standards and the environment friendliness of the vehicles. In the short term, imports of used CBU (completely built up) imports may be constrained as gazetted prices will be used for duty computation,’’ says Kavan.
“Consumers in the luxury segment may benefit in the medium term if foreign automakers make Malaysia their hub for vehicle manufacturing.”
The NAP also manages to liberalise the auto sector while still giving protection against the national car makers, a stance the Government has not wavered from, since starting the national car policy in the mid-1980s.
Whether that is an acceptable to the rest of the industry is moot, but there are quite a number of people who feel that is not the right way to go.
“(There is) still ample protection for national producers, including maintaining high excise and import duty structures, extension of freeze on assembly of rebuilt commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. And, the liberalisation of manufacturing licences does not encroach into the mass market segment, which the national producers currently serve,’’ UOBKayHian points out in its note.
And there are people in the industry who feel the time has come for that to change.
“We have to look at the national auto industry in particular and not only focus on the national car company alone,’’ says DRB-HICOM Bhd group managing director Datuk Mohd Khamil Jamil.
“Having the technology and product for the domestic market alone is insufficient. We must also be accepted by the market overseas, at least regionally.’’
Khamil feels that a collaboration with a strategic partner is important in promoting and enhancing the capabilities and opportunities of Proton and the industry.
Malaysia is a country that has a long history of making cars. Notwithstanding the national makes, the employees of the industry are widely regarded as trainable and skilled. Just ask Mercedes Benz.

Its plant in Pekan, Pahang, started out making four units a day of just one model. Today, it assembles the S-class, E-class and C-class Mercs, and annual volumes has now reached 5,000 units. That makes it the largest CKD (completely knocked down) assembly outside Germany.
“Consolidation and strategic alliances within the industry is important as many major manufacturers are moving towards multiple brands sharing the same engineering platform,” says Khamil.
“Asean is a high-growth region for the automotive business. There are threats of new markets like Vietnam and the Philippines. So we have to entrench our position.”
Changed, but still the same
The crux of the issue in Malaysia has been overcapacity, competitiveness and the lack of exports. Khamil feels that future growth will have to be export-led, and Malaysia needs to establish its position as an auto manufacturing hub.
“There must be a balance between the national car brand and enabling a sustainable auto industry,’’ he says.
While the auto parts manufacturers would welcome the NAP, the other winners from the entire review would surely have to be the national car makes,” he adds.
The greater tax exemption for exports of vehicles will benefit Proton and Perodua, but analysts feel those companies would need to produce cars that are competitive on a global scale in order to greatly gain from such incentives.
That will entail additional costs to engineer such cars, making it essential for Proton to form a strategic partnership with a larger foreign player. Proton and Volkswagen are engaged in talks to reach such an arrangement.
While the NAP review is a step in the right direction, many things need to be in place for the measures to materialise into something significantly tangible.
“On a whole, the measures are unlikely to have much immediate impact on the auto sector. Most of the measures announced – albeit being positive in navigating the industry towards greater liberalisation and competition – are not significant enough to alter the prevailing industry dynamics. In a way, the scenario, duties and ultimately, car prices, have not changed,’’ said Affin Investment Bank in a research report.
Related Stories:

A disappointing review of the NAP

Coming to grips with APs

Who’s footing the bill?

Automotive sector – shifting up a gear

The Last Day at the Bootcamp...

Today marked the last day of our October Bootcamp training session.... next week on Monday all participants' fitness level will be assessed... for improvement (if any).

So what is my take? The Bootcamp is on a monthly registration and renewal. Participants will be re-assessed to move on to the next level of the programme or remain status quo at the current... if at all re-accepted into the programme.

I have received numerous feedback on its effectiveness and inquiries if I am continuing with the programme. Truthfully, I am not the best person to comment.... I registered half month into the programme and was sick half of the half month. So on the random days that I was at the training... 4 sessions out of the 12 sessions per month, I will summarize as follows....

I lost my bootcamp virgin to a big fat, heavy tractor tyre. Of course I prefer the slim, petite, sexy and light but at the bootcamp, it is always a blind date!! You will never know what to expect. We went up and down and up and down with the big fat & heavy on top. It was strenuous but the first time is always painful... and so they say.

The second session was all about grooming. We were given an original mud bathwith only the natural ingredients such as mud, grass and probably some poops from the smell of it. Shoba Bala called it frog infested mud puddle and look forward for more of it.. having been with the Bootcamp for already 4 months.

The third day was "friendly day" where you bring your friend along for a get together. It is the best day to socialize and the best way to lose a friend... or so said Malek Aziz's : "How to lose a friend in 60 minutes". Thinking Rose Emini always took photos of my wrinkles.. I brought her along......!!!

The last session for the month was this morning......... and today... 'The theme was... needless to say, "Now, everybody can shop for a new shoe"... There is no better justification to shop for new shoes every month than to join the bootcamp...



If you have been paying the Truefitness or Fitness First gym 180 a month without any progress or improvement or if you have been paying the gym without even going to the gym.....

and if you have been paying a few thousand ringgit a month for Personal Training session at the gym and you dont see result except a pinch in the pocket....

or if you have been training and now lacking the motivation or the drive to improve...... like me..

or if you are in for the challenge and to vary your existing training programme.....

For RM299 You certainly should join the Bootcamp?

Will I re-register for November Bootcamp?

Errr... to miss the opportunity of being green, natural friendly with free original mud spa treatment and to learn the art of losing a foe/friend weekly as well as given a good reason to go shopping... I DEFINITELY WILL NOT MISS IT... and I think everybody should join the Bootcamp too... Register now at: Bootcamp online.

So see you next week.

and for those ladies who wants to get personal with the BOOTCAMP TRAINERS (ALL MODEL LOOK MEN... Mmm..).... come to the bootcamp GRADUATION HALLOWEEN day at the Borneo Rainforest cafe tomorrow, Saturday 31st October 2009 at 730pm....... to dress for halloween.. this is how the trainers look at us trainees.. as zombies and ghost!

Having attended only 4 sessions.. I dont think I deserve a graduation day. Have fun all...................


Bernama News report- National Automotive Policy

October 28, 2009 19:20 PM

NAP Review Addresses Most Issues In Auto Eco-system, Says PEDA

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 (Bernama) -- The revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) has addressed most of the predicaments in the automotive eco-system, says Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia (PEDA).

PEDA's president, Armin Baniaz Pahamin said the policy addressed three main aspects imperative to the Proton eco-system.

"In particular, it addressed the conflict of the two national car makers competing rather than complementing each other, and provides a pragmatic future direction towards Free Trade Agreement (FTA)," he said in a statement here.

"It specified the importance of Bumiputera dealership in the network and the critical issue faced by the vendor and it also addressed the overall saturated and stagnant automotive market."

Armin Baniaz said the public will benefit from the economies of scale gained from preserving specific market segment in the domestic market share for Proton.

He said although the second national car project, launched in 1994, was meant to complement Proton and expand the local automotive product range, they were both now competing in the same market segment and dividing the market share.

"This had led to a lower production (for vehicle in the same segmet), under-utilising the production capacity by both manufacturers in a stagnant if not deteriorating market segment," said Armin Baniaz.

PEDA also lauded the clear directive to increase Bumiputera participation in dealership network.

However, the existing 100 per cent Bumiputera owned dealership that is currently a minority with a total of less than 20 per cent in the dealers network, should be preserved and nurtured, said the president.

The tax/duty exemption on the value of increased Exports of Vehicle and Parts/Components and the gradual removal or reduction of import duty, meanwhile, will be a catalyst to attract a strategic partner for Proton.

The mandatory annual inspection for vehicles above 15 years as a first step towards implementing a Vehicle End of Life Policy is a good move and in line with other developed countries, the association said.

However, PEDA hoped that the scrapping policy that was introduced under the second financial stimulus should be continued especially with the momentum that has picked up.

"Although the quantum offered to scrap 10 years and older vehicle is low but it should be an option given Malaysia's relatively high average vehicle age," Armin Baniaz said.

"The scrapping of old cars is important for our automotive industry that is now quite saturated. The introduction of Vehicle End of Life Policy will address our saturated automotive market as well as vehicle road worthiness and environmental issues."

The phasing out of imported used parts and components including the half-cut will then benefit all parties from the public, Proton vendors as well as the authorised service dealers, he added.



The National Automotive Policy (NAP) is out...

Malaysia National Automotive Policy

The National Automotive Policy was announced this morning. This is my take on the NAP...

The NAP had addressed the automotive eco system in quite an entirety from recognising the importance of Proton and Proton's future direction as a National Car, addressing policies that affected the vendors, dealers, bumiputra participation, the stagnant and saturated market as well as the direction towards FTA.

The NAP addresses three main aspects imperative to the automotive eco-system. In particular it addressed the conflict of the two national car maker competing rather than complementing each other as oppose to the main objective of the two national car projects that was approved by cabinet in the early 80s for Proton and mid 90s for perodua. The NAP provides a pragmatic future direction towards FTA with the abolishment of open AP BY 2015 and franchise AP by 2020. Secondly, it specified the importance of bumiputra dealership in the network and the critical issue faced by the vendor through unregulated import of used parts and component. Thirdly, it addresses the overall saturate and stagnant automotive market”.

1. The public will benefit from the economies of scale gained from preserving specific market segment in domestic market share for Proton. The Second national car project that was launched in 1994 was meant to complement Proton and expand local automotive product range. However, both Proton and Perodua are currently competing in the same market segment which saw the market share for the same small segment being divided and hinder any economies of scale benefit.

2. This had led to a lower production (for vehicle in the same segmet) under-utilising the production capacity by both manufacturers in a stagnant if not deteriorating market segment.

3. PEDA also lauded the clear directive to increase bumiputra participation in dealership network. However, the existing 100% bumiputra owned dealership that is currently a minority with a total of less than 20% of the dealers network, should be preserved and nurtured.

4. There is nothing new in the requirements for strategic partnership between Proton and a global established OEM particularly to increase export & make Malaysia as the production hub for the region; transfer of technology & implementation of R&D activities locally; and increase in local content & enhancement of bumiputra vendor programme. This has always been Proton’s direction even during Tengku Mahaleel’s tenure. It was for the same requirement as well as the ‘pricing’ that Proton was unsuccessful in getting a strategic partnership in the past.

5. However, new policies under the NAP, in particular the tax/duty exemption on the value of increased Exports of Vehicle and Parts/Components and the gradual removal or reduction of import duty to meet the commitment of various FTAs will be more attractive to attract a foreign strategic partner for Proton.

6. The Mandatory annual inspection for vehicles above 15 years as a first step towards implementing a Vehicle End of Life Policy is a good move and in line with other developed countries. Other developed countries such as Britain had long imposed such a requirement. The annual vehicle inspection is will ensure all vehicles are road-worthy and would not endanger other drivers.

However, the scrapping policy that was introduced under the 2nd financial stimulus should be continued especially with the momentum that has picked up. Although the quantum offered to scrap 10 years and older vehicle is low but it should be an option given Malaysia’s relatively high average vehicle age. In britain, the cost to comply to the annual vehicle inspection is more expensive than the cost to scrap the car.

7. The scrapping of old cars is important for our automotive industry that is now quite saturated. The introduction of Vehicle end of life policy will address our saturated automotive market as well as vehicle road worthiness and environmental issue.

8. The NAP phasing out of imported used parts and component including the half-cut (kereta potong) will benefit all parties from the public, Proton vendors as well as the authorized service dealers.

9. The usage of imported used parts and component does not warrant the buyer, will void any vehicle warranty and may endanger the user. The sale of used imported parts and component had also affected the vendors and authorized Proton service dealers. Vendors and dealers only deals and sell original OEM parts and component.

The full press release by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry is available here.


Be a DUKE for 5km


Who wants to be on top of a  DUKE? dont get too excited ladies.. but that is exactly what you can do on 22 November 2009 from 8am to 12pm. You can do anything with the DUKE within the 4 hours... you can play, sleep, run or just walk with the Duke.

There is no catch except for a fee of RM5.00. That is all that you need to pay to participate in Malaysia's first DUKETHON 1 MALAYSIA RUN at the Duke highway... err maybe another RM2.00 to pay for the toll during the run?

DUKE almost a virgin highway but is Malaysia's latest landmark. Dont miss the opportunity to run for 5km on an 8 laner, 6 storeys above ground highway.

My brother Rhiza Ghazi is aggressively marketing the race maybe in anticipation of getting a 1 day toll-free pass from the Duke and although I never participated in any race that is less than 10km, I will make this race an exception.  Register now at DUKE-REGISTER on or before 14 November 2009. For more information click race-info.

see you at the DUKE....


Mizuno wave run 2009


Its been 3 months since the Siemens 10km run in July 2009, our last race before yesterday's Mizuno 11km wave run. This is the 6th year that Mizuno had organised the annual race but every year for the past 5 years, Mizuno race was held at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur. This year, Mizuno race was stage at the University Putra Malaysia (UPM) Stadium in Serdang. The running fee was RM35 per entry and we were given a nice sexy yellow & white Mizuno running vest that would otherwise cost RM53.

I was in bed early on the eve of the race and deliberated if I should run tomorrow or otherwise. I am down with a bad fever, running nose, cough and body ache for already a week. Its been too long since my last race and I did not want to further prolonge it. Nonetheless, this is the first time (after more than a year), that Dato Fadzil, Datin Azura, Abu, Nita, Nawal, Emi are together running a race and of course, the running vest was already worth the registration fee paid.... I almost chicken out... damn the fever.

I woke up early at 530am to get ready for the run albeit the lousy health state. UPM Serdang is at least half an hour away (without traffic & if we didnt get lost) and quickly woke nawal and emi and drove to Serdang. We arrived at UPM serdang at 7:10am, illegally parked our car by the roadside and walked to the starting point.

The race was flagged off at 7:30am and the weather was excellent. We ran from the university stadium throughout the university campus area. There were at least 4,000 participants.

It was a terrible run. I was coughing all the way and had difficulty in breathing with the blocked running nose.  My polar watch battery went flat and I could not read my heart rate, distance and running cadence but I knew I was cruising at a very slow speed.

The run finally ended and I had never been so pleased to cross the finishing line. I ran straight to the Milo station and wanted to fill up my water bottle with ice cold milo... but they can only serve drinks in cup, I gulped 5 cup of milo instead. Fadzil, Nawal and Emi completed the run first,  Abu and nita came later. I was told more than a dozen runner's cars parked at UPM were broken into. Thank god our cars were good.

We left for roti canai @ raju and went straight home for bed. I was bedridden with high temperature again and had to miss a friend's birthday party in the afternoon and my staff Saraswathy's wedding in the evening.

This morning, I gave the bootcamp training a miss........... I reckon its best to allow my body to recover first before another hard training.

P. Saraswathy


Congratulation to Ms P. SARASWATHY, the daughter of the late Mr & Mrs Ponnian Muthian and Mr S. Shanger, son of Mr & Mrs Subramaniam - Alamgeyam whom became husband and wife on Sunday 25th October 2009.

The wedding took place at 5:30am at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple, Jalan Kenari 11, Bandar Puchong Jaya, 10th Mile, Jalan Puchong, 47100, Puchong, Selangor.

Saraswathy has been a loyal and hardworking members of my company for almost 10 years. I pray for your blissful and happy marriage always.


the Bootcamp


I registered and joined the Bootcamp over the weekend and went to the first session yesterday at Padang Merbuk. We arrived at 5:30am sharp for the 5:45am session. We changed our t' shirt to their uniform and paid the half month fees of RM180. The training fee is RM299 per month for a three sessions per week programme.

There were approximately 30 pax at the field of mix gender and race. I was excited and had no expectation. I have been inactive from exercise for the past 2 months since the fasting month and the bootcamp seemed the best force-option to exercise.

We began with a slow jog in circle as a warm up. After the run, we were split into three teams and was assigned to a giant used tractor tyre that probably weight at least 200 kg if not more. We were asked to run with the giant tyre through a hilly route. The tyre was very heavy even with at least 6 team member carrying it. We took turn running with the giant tyre and I tried to bribe the team Commander to allow us to find a short cut. He thought I was joking.... (actually I was concern of the old tyre safety).

Half way through, we stopped a field and was asked (without any break) to do a non-stop jumping squat, pumping, raised leg and other exercises. By now, my heart beat was beating ala techno music... beating so fast it almost jump out from my chest. Then we were rushed again (without any break) to carry the tyre back to the starting point.

Our team arrived first at the finishing end where we started, the old tyre was tired and exhausted covered in mud from the wet field but we... mm.... were okay.... heee  From the scheduled 1 hour session, we had an extra 15 minutes training. Good value for money. A good high intensity train and a good bruises all over the arm and legs. The bootcamp does not repeat the same exercise and every session will be different. I wonder what will be in the next session...? an old used 'tong gas'?

I look forward to the next session... tomorrow.


Why I was never obsessed with my sister's obession....


I indulged myself with my sister's latest obsession a few months ago. Being me, I simply cant resist trying new things, new hobbies and new challenges. My sister, Emi's latest obsession (though I dare not say for how long- she gets obsessed and bored too easily) is 'wall climbing'. understandably, being single, she has nothing else to climb.

It is a good exercise although I ended up with bruises on knee and thigh and had many scratches on both arms too. It was easier than I thought but of course, I attempted the easiest route... a 30 feet climb on auto belay. There are more difficult levels but I didnt like the idea of having my life depended on either another person to belay or the auto belay (the device that controls your fall and/or bring you down slowly once you reach the peak).

I read a shocking email today that affirmed my fear. The Garden International School Head of Secondary, Graham Wilson  (Aaraf's School) went for a local indoor wall climbing on 4th October 2009 and suffered a bad fall. He completed a 30 feet climb using the wall which uses an auto belay. He fell from the top on his back and legs when the auto belay device failed.

Graham broke both bones on his left leg, damaged his right leg and broke his spine in the lumbar region (vertebra L3 was basically crushed). Fortunately his spinal cord was not damaged and his surgery was successful.  His surgeon is expecting a full recovery to the leg but only 70% recovery on the back mobility. It will take another 3 to 6 months for full back recovery.

Totally madness.. it could happen to anybody.. me or emi or whoever. I attempted that same 30 feet climb on auto belay...... it was fun, interesting enjoyable but I think I will stick to my running, cycling and swimming for sports. Speaking of which, I owe you the first day experience at the bootcamp ala military training.

Stay tune


When damage is done, it is time to take action... the Military Style !!

As in any other year, the month of Syawal that ended yesterday or was it 2 days before had treated us all too good with endless aidilfitri open house invitations aka eating feast. I am thankful that I am in most friend's list of invitation. My only regret is the time constraint to attend all those invititations but I am flattered and honoured to be remembered and invited. Thank you all for the invitations and my apology if I was not there. There are still a few more extended open houses next week although Syawal has ended.

The change in the daily staple food was quite damaging. An otherwise daily meals  without carbo, no rice and mostly organic oat diet was replaced by variety type of sinful rice from nasi dagang to briyani and endless desserts; almost triple if not more than the normal daily portion. As a result, the prominent extra inch around the waist and a few pounds in weight... the hidden result is the cholestrol, uric acid or glucose level that too would have been obvious with a blood check that is being avoided.

The gym and daily running suddenly felt heavy and unfriendly. There were only very few succesful attempts to run-train and gym-workout during the whole month of Syawal and that very few training was dreadful.

When the damage is self-inflicted, own effort is lacking and the laze kicked in... there is only one solution... by FORCE!! How...?


I registered myself (with Abu, Nawal and hopefully Rhiza Ghazi and Rose Emini) at the "Boot Camp". Attempts to drag other siblings especially Chempaka Emalin seems futile. She was more concern of 'life-lost' than 'fat lost' at the boot camp although I think she (being sentimental) is more scared of losing the fat that she befriended many years ago. During one of the gatherings, Nawal's friend, Anushia Siva Subramaniam introduced us the boot camp that was established in Australia in 1991. It is military inspired, outdoorgroup personal training program that utilises discipline base motivational training.

For only RM299 per month, the bootcamp consists of three, 60 minute sessions per week, for four weeks. The program begins with a Benchmark Workout that allows the instructor to assess our current strengths and weaknesses, and place us with other Recruits of an equivalent fitness level. This will enable the individual Section Commander to continually challenged us, without asking more than what we are physically able.

There were three training locations but I enrolled for the location at Padang Merbuk, Kuala Lumpur that was nearest to my house. The first training began tomorrow 19 October 2009... MONDAY at 5:45am.

I look forward to being sober from the whole month of food-overdose. I will blog the whole experience at the bootcamp....

Stay Tune!!

Happy Deepavali


To all my hindu readers, friends and colleagues and all Malaysians... Happy Deepavali.

A special greeting to my ABP staff Saraswathy, fellow colleagues, Proton Edar Southern Region Head, Mr Raj, my lawyer Veera Naicker, my dentist Dr Thiruchelvam and the 'mummy's clan' Anushia Siva Subramaniam.

Sara has worked for me for almost 10 years and is also getting married during this Deepavali month. Congratulation Sara. May you have a blissful wedding. Anushia, thanks for inviting us to your Deepavali open house on Sunday, tomorrow and introducing us to the 'boot camp' ala commando training.

May we all have a wonderful celebration and a great weekend.



Not everything is rosey on Aidil Fitri


It is customary  for most of my relatives to gather at my parent's house on the first day of Syawal since my mum is the eldest in her family of very many siblings. It was the same even when we were staying at our old Kelana Jaya house. 20 years ago, on the first day of raya, my life changed. I lost 10 kg during the fasting month without any exercise or a controlled diet... no it was without intention. I was way underweight and was all bones without flesh. The Lower Certificate of Education (SRP) exam was only a few months away. I kept falling sick with high temperature and frequented the neighbouring Clinic at SS5 only to be prescribed with more baskets full of medicine but the body temperature continued to boil.

It was in 1989, after performing the morning Raya prayer at the mosque I quickly rushed back home and went to bed without any food. Although I could feel my body temperature boiling hotter but I was freezing. I tucked myself under the duvet disregarding any relatives at the house. My house was packed with uncles, aunties and cousins that I can hear the noise from my room on the first floor although the door was closed tight. Nobody search and asked for me and I was grateful as I was really struggling in pain. Later in the late afternoon, another uncle, Dato' Dr Ramli Mohamad came and insisted for me.

He was shocked to see me so pale and thin akin of a zombie. He was the first that saw my sufferings. At school and home I was branded an addict. It was in the same year that the government launched an anti-Dadah campaign and advertised the symptom of an addict which a drastic lost in weight being the most prominent signal. I was penalised daily at school too when teachers mistakenly suspected I was on drugs. Dato Dr Ramli or more fondly known as Ayah Li, insisted that I should go for a thorough medical check-up with a specialist. Even if there is nothing wrong, it was best to be certain, he continued to insist. A few days later, my mum brought me to Dr Nik Isahak and I was diagnosed to have leukaemia.

Four days ago, that uncle that took special interest in me when nobody else did, passed away after a struggle with cancer.

I am lost of words of what to write but I cant stop replaying in my mind, thinking and feeling that moment when I was a teenager feeling so lost, feeling so weak, feeling so alone on the first day of raya although the house was packed with relatives but it was him that first saw me dying.

Although it was 20 years ago, memory last forever. I am glad that I was able to speak and kiss him a day before he was sedated and never gained consciousness. I miss you. I can only pray to Allah swt for his well being hereafter.

Al fatihah




The month of Syawal or the Eidul Fitri Eid Mubarak aka Hari Raya celebration aka eating month aka food overdose period is almost over.... but the hang-over from the food overdose is quite damaging. Beside the extra inch and a few pounds if not kilos of weight gained, workload @ work too is getting fatter. One of the many accumulated workload that requires urgent attention is the appointment of PEDA executive committees.

It is almost 2 weeks since PEDA held our Annual General Meeting cum election and as provided for by PEDA constitution, I have to appoint almost immediately the list of exco that will also determine the three signatories to sign cheques.

After much deliberation and discussion with a few parties, I decided to appoint the newbies.. aka the newly elected... aka virgins.. as the elite PEDA "exco members". Season committee.. aka old timer... aka senior committee... aka the warga emas.. including me having been a committee member for already more than 10 years should be given the extra space to breath.. (err.. maybe not me) with more workload given to the new kids on the block.

With new blood in as executive commitee, I look forward to revitalise PEDA with new ideas, new start, new energy and especially active participation.

The following is the new executive committee and ordinary committee members for the year 2009/2010.


Executive Committee








Ordinary Committee








Mohd Zainury was appointed as committee member on 15 October 2009. Now we have a well represented network with 2 committee members in each region; Mohd Jasmin Ismail and Mohd Zainuri representing PEDA @ East Coast region, Abu Lais and Jeff Lim representing PEDA @ Northern Region, Datuk Yahya and SB Siaw representing PEDA @ Southern region and other committee member @ Central region. PEDA constitution allow the President to appoint an additional 4 committee members which I hope to appoint dealers from East Malaysia.

I will publish PEDA committee members personal profile individually in due course. Each of them has beautiful stories to tell.. which is obvious otherwise they would not be elected as a committee member.

Stay tune..........

Budget 2010.. PEDA's perspective


I was asked by RTM yesterday to comment today 9 October 2009 at 12pm on the soon to be announced Budget for the year 2010. Without being too detailed and meticulous on a long winding wishlist (as per the proposal submitted during the Ministry of Finance Budget Consultative Council meeting) and especially since I have no idea on the actual air-time given, I will summarize as follows.


1. The Budget and governmental policies have to address the automotive eco-system in the entirety to build resilience and revitalise growth.

2. The automotive eco-system comprised of automotive manufacturers, assemblers, vendors, distributors, new car dealers, Banks, Insurance companies, used car traders, the potential buyer as well as the market as a whole.

3. Any failure in the eco-system will not build resilience but instead hinder the development and growth for the local automotive industry.

4. Domestic car sale is influenced by 3 major macro factors primarily, Banking facilities & packages; the People's Purchasing power (affordability and disposable income) ; and the saturated market.

5. Unlike developed countries where automotive manufacturers and distributors owned a financial arm and provide themselves financing packages to buyers, in Malaysia end-financing for cars depended solely if not heavily on Banks.

6. A continuous, flexible and cheaper Banking facilities & support will strengthened the manufacturers, assemblers, vendors and dealers.

7. An easier to obtained loan for car buyer will ensure a continuous and increasing demand for cars sales. If Banks were to revised the credit risk scoring for potential buyer (irrespective for whatever factor), car sales will fluctuate.

8. However, if the purchasing power at large are still affected by inflation or rising cost of living resulting from increasing cost of essential expenditures, automotive sales too will be affected.

9. The public's disposable income should be addressed by the Budget 2010.

10. To address the saturated market for automotive sales, the scrapping policy introduced under the 2nd financial stimulus should be extended. The scrapping policy should be made a long term objective to address the saturated market as well as for road safety and worthiness.

11. The government had announced the scrapping policy will end by December 2009 this year.

12. This saturated market too had caused second hand or used car value to significantly deteriorate that the car owner had to pay the Bank to sell his car (if the car owner cant afford to continue servicing his monthly car loan instalment due to retrenchment or rising cost of living) or to trade-in his existing car for a new car.

13. Perhaps the government can provide a proper valuation that took into account the period of financing that Banks are authorised/allowed to provide, so the public is not burden with 'unfair' valuation.

14. The valuation of second hand/used car should also take into account other details such as the vehicle mileage, accident-free history, serviced and maintained by authorised workshop, extra additional accessories etc.

15. If this 3 macro factors were addressed in the budget 2010, the automotive industry can be revitalised and strengthened.


National Car Status

National Car Status....

1. The National Automotive Policy (NAP) was introduced on 19 October 2005 to SPUR the growth of the automotive industry in Malaysia through 5 objectives and 10 measures (to achieve the objectives) (see: NAP) . The revised NAP is expected to be announced soon.

2. The first objective of the NAP 2005, was to promote a competitive & viable automotive sector, in particular NATIONAL CAR manufacturers. What is the definition of a National Car?

3. Initially, a national car status would entitle the manufacturer with an exemption on import duties for CKD components and will receive a reduction of 50% on the excise tax resulting in a potential 20-30 percent price differential.

4. Currently there are 4 brandnames that is accredited or claimed to be a national car, namely Proton, Perodua, Naza Kia and Inokom... although the official announcement was only made for Proton, Perodua and NAZA RIA (not NAZA brandname).

5. The National Car status is awarded to manufacturers that comply to a minimum 'local content' percentage but according to a source, there was never a clear guideline on the actual percentage requirement of local content but industry source says only 40% local content was required.

6. Another requirement to be accredited as a 'national car' is to brand it a local name... hence the re-badging of name from Daihatsu to Perodua, Kia to NAZA.

7. The definition of what constitute a NATIONAL CAR should be re-visited.

8. It is no longer suffice for any manufacturer to be accredited a National Car status with only 40% local content (or whatever the percentage).

9. National Car should be a symbol of nasionalism and patriotism. A citizenship of the car sort of speak and should not be abused by Koreans or Japanese. It should be Malaysian DNA in the car and not Korean, Japanese or other countries.

10. When the national car project was launched 24 years ago in 1985; Proton began with the 'Rebadging' of Mitsubishi cars. 15 years later, Proton had acquired the necessary technical and technological know-how, to manufacture and gave birth to the first Malaysian car, Proton Waja. Proton Waja was designed, Researched & Developed and engineered by Malaysians.

11. Todate, Proton had given birth to 6 Malaysian made cars (from drawing board), with Malaysian engineering, Malaysian designs, Malaysian Technology, Malaysian Research and Development (R&D) and the team driven by Malaysian people (aka Malaysian DNA); namely Proton Waja, Proton Gen2, Proton Saga, Proton Savvy, Proton Neo and Proton Persona.

12. Perodua RE-BADGED and launched Perodua Kancil in1994. 15 years later, Perodua is STILL re-badging ALL PERODUA cars using Japanese design, Japanese technology, Japanese engineering, Japanese research & development, a project driven by Japanese. There were no Malaysian DNA except for bigger tyres and more spoilers.

13. To entice other foreign motor vehicle manufacturers worldwide to give birth and launch their new cars in Malaysia (and export to other country from Malaysia) and not just re-badging their cars, the National Car Status should be revisit and redefine.

14. The Malaysian National car status should be accredited to any manufacturers (NOT restricted to Proton) that invested in their design, R&D, engineering and technology in Malaysia.

15. Manufacturers whom are then awarded the National Car status should be supported and rewarded. The title National Car should be a prestige title with incentive (for R&D).

16. Now, National Car status no longer received any governmental grants, funds or incentives. All government grants, funds, incentives are extended to any qualified automotive manufacturer with a specific guideline requirements by Ministry of International Trade & Industry and Ministry of Finance.

17. Without any perks and benefits, National car status is only a symbol of nationalism which is why it is imperative for the National Car status to be re-define.


17. There are four (4) passenger & commercial vehicle manufacturers and 9 motor vehicle assemblers. All vehicle manufacturers & assemblers are under-utilized by more than 60%.

18. There are 21 Tier 1 vendors out of the 343 motor vehicle components and parts manufacturers whose capacity are also under-utilized.

19. Since the Government via Ministry of International Trade & Industry issues all the licences for vehicle manufacturers, assemblers and motor vehicle component & part manufacturers, the Government can via the soon to be revised National Automotive Policy, consolidate and rationalise the manufacturing and assembly plant as well as the vendors to attain a better economies of scale.

20. Once vehicles can be produced cheaper with the economies of scale, we will have the competitive edge to increase our automotive export.

21. Malaysians too will enjoy cheaper cars.

22. Nonetheless, there were other precedents such as the Banking, Insurance and Palm oil industries that was consolidated for the benefit of the public, industry and national interest.




Yesterday PEDA held our 10th Annual General Meeting and election. Preparing for the Annual General Meeting was very taxing in both time and energy. PEDA is a non-profit organisation and all duties were performed voluntarily.... without any allowance, wages, salaries or any special perks, privileges or treatment from Proton Edar. Historically, some of PEDA committee members were even discriminated and blacklisted for being outspoken.

PEDA had always establish a good working-relationship as a bridge between Proton management and the dealers network though at times PEDA was misconstrued as a torn in the network.

The hardwork and dedication paid off and PEDA is now a recognised body by the authorities, Proton, as well as others in the automotive eco system. Through various discussions and meetings, PEDA had resolved many issues for the benefit of the dealers, Proton and especially the public.

Improvement in deliverables and services to the public is PEDA's ultimate objective. Our ultimate BOSS is really the customer. Without the support from the public and customer, there is no room for Proton or any of its dealer.

Part of the delegates awaiting the start of the Annual General Meeting

PEDA is now 11 years old and I (and a few from my committee members) am proud to be involve with PEDA since inception in 1998.

One of our delegate debating issues for resolutions

Proton dealers network now sell 80% of total Proton sales in Malaysia (including East Malaysia) with a total trade turnover exceeding RM5 billion, if we combined the total sales of all the dealers.

PEDA committee members listening to the delegates resolutions
(From left: Dato Nazir Sheikh Fazil, Jeffery Samaah, Dato Yahya jaafar, SB Siaw, Armin Baniaz Pahamin, Farizul Hazli Baharom, Fathul Rahman, Lee Lick Sai)

Proton dealers employed more than 3,000 employees (including sales representative) throughout Malaysia. Although my dealership is only 12 years old, some dealers (from EON) are more than 20 years old.

Another delegate debating issues

The committee and me answering some issues raised by delegates

Dato Nazir Sheikh Fazil introducing new resolutions for the members to accept

Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia 2009 - 2010 committee members elected at the 10th Annual General Meeting:



Committee members:

S.B. SIAW (Mr)











The outgoing and the new elected committee

(from left: Fadzil, Farizul Hazli Baharom (Pengerusi Majlis), Jeff Lim, Dato Yahya Jaafar (new Deputy President), Dr Wan Ikmal Dato Seri Wan Ahmad, Abu Lais Walli Mohamed, Dato Nazir Sheikh Fazir, SB Siaw, Armin Baniaz Pahamin (President), Fathul Rahman, Lee Lick Sai, KH Lim, Adam Khan, Mohd Jasmin)

As provided for by PEDA constitution, para 9.1 (a) President must appoint the executive committee that should comprised of the followings:

1) Vice President 1
2) Vice President 2
3) Secretary general
4) Assistant Secretary-General
5) Hon Treasurer
6) Assistant Treasurer

The President can also appoint additional 4 committee member from the delegate to complete the total 19 panel of committee members.

I will make the announcement soon.

(From left: SB Siaw, Armin Baniaz Pahamin, Farizul Hazli Baharom, Fahul Rahman)

Farizul Hazli Baharom, the meeting Chairman announcing the adjournment of the 10th AGM

After the AGM, PEDA hosted our Hari Raya open house from 12pm to 3pm that was attended by more than 400 people.

PEDA will continue to be a strong platform to serve the public (through our network of dealers), for our members (as a bridge to Proton) and to the authorities (to participate in any policies pertaining to the automotive sector).

I am grateful and thankful especially to PEDA's previous committee whose terms had ended. In particular, I am indebted to:

1) Tuan haji Wan Ahmad Sepwan (Former President)
2) Tuan Haji Razak bin Datuk Aziz (Former Vice-President)
3) Farizul Hazli Baharom (Former Secretary General)
4) Tuan Haji Che Ghazzali (Former committee)
5) Dato Nazir Sheikh Fazil (Former committee)
6) Nurkhairin Tan Sri Norian (Former Committee)
7) Alwin Teo (Former Committee)
8) Mr KH Lim (Former Committee)
9) Wan Sazrudeen Datuk Wan Zaid (Former Committee)

Stay tune for PEDA's new list of Exco members....

Inspirational dedication


Work has been quite hectic after a whole week away from office celebrating Raya. Preparing for Proton Edar Dealers Association Malaysia (PEDA) 10th Anual General Meeting (and election) and PEDA Hari Raya open house this weekend on Saturday 3 October 2009 added up to the already mountain high piled up outstanding work to complete..... that I neglected my blog update for almost a week. My apology.

There are so much to write and share which I will slowly start again... but for now, I want to share this email attachment that i received from Vin Yeoh.

I get touched and moved by songs too easily and sometimes can be quite emotional... but the way she dedicated the song especially to her beloved mother completely won my heart. There is no better love than the divine love for a mother.

Please watch below.. turn the volume up and watch it in private... in case there is tear drop...

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