Car owners can heave a sigh of relief as the government has decided not to go ahead with proposed cap on the lifespan of cars. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 21, 2013.Putrajaya has pulled the brakes on a plan to impose a 12-year cap on the lifespan of cars after facing objections from the opposition and car owners.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the federal government has no plans to go ahead with the proposal.
"I want to stress we have no plans to impose a cap on the lifespan on cars for disposal purposes as we do not want to burden the public," he told Sim Tze Tzin (PKR - Bayan Baru) in Parliament today during question time.
The proposal has come under fire from Sim and his colleague Rafizi Ramli (PKR - Pandan) who had charged that it was Putrajaya's way of collecting more revenue through the Good and Services Tax (GST) that would take off in April 2015.
Rafizi had said the plan should be scrapped as excise duty still remained high while Darrell Leiking (PKR - Penampang) had pointed out safety aspects should be addressed first before considering such policy.
Speaking to reporters, Abdul Aziz denied that Putrajaya would implement the policy now.
When asked if the policy would be introduced at a later stage, he said it "depends on the rakyat".
"We don't want to burden the people. It all depends. We put the people first," he added.
Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) director-general Profesor Dr Wong Shaw Voon, who was also present today, concurred with Abdul Aziz.
He said more studies needed to be done, especially on the socio-economic impact on the people.
"As an engineer, I said that the typical lifespan of a vehicle, according to the design of the car, is 12 years.
"But I do not agree with the proposal to put a limit to the lifespan of cars," he said.
Car owners in Malaysia, most of whom take hire-purchase loans of up to nine years to buy vehicles which are costly due to high excise duties, also objected to the proposal.
The proposal came about Wong said that cars older than 12 years were not safe to be on the road.
"There is a higher risk of deaths in accidents, as such cars could be faulty without the driver being aware of it. Most cars are designed to have a lifespan of five to 12 years," he had said.
Putrajaya has revealed that there are more than 22 million vehicles on the road in Malaysia with more than five million older than 10 years.
Abdul Aziz also said steps had been taken to lower road tax for vehicles with low motor capacity.
In citing examples, he said owners of vehicles less than 1,000cc and below only pay RM20 every year for road tax while those who own cars between 1,400cc and 1,600cc only pay a yearly rate of RM90.
"Any further reduction can only be decided by the Finance Ministry," he said. - November 21, 2013.