DO you have an old clunker in the driveway that is still reliable? Well you may have to give it up soon, depending on the results of a study by the Transport Ministry.
Bernama reported that a study on the introduction of a lifespan policy for vehicles in Malaysia is at the final stage.
It quoted Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai as saying that the study, which included a proposal on incentives for changing old clunkers with brand new cars, would be presented to the Cabinet before it was tabled in Parliament.
He said the ministry had not set a deadline to implement the policy because it would involve various matters, such as amending the Road Transport Act 1987.
“However, we understand the worries of the people because the older a vehicle is, the more issues or problems will arise.
“If the policy is implemented, the ministry will determine the lifespan of a vehicle as well as provide incentives to the owner whose vehicle’s lifespan has ended,” added Liow earlier this week.
The vehicle end-of-life policy has been a point of contention for many Malaysians after the proposal first made it into public discussions a few years ago.
However, the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) has stated that it is important to spur the growth of the automotive industry.
“The vehicle end-of-life policy is important to encourage purchases of new cars, increasing the demand in the industry,” said its president Datuk Aishah Ahmad last year.
However, the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) president Datuk Dr Marimuthu Nadason, when contacted by CBT, said Malaysians were not ready for such a policy.
“The timing is bad,” he said, adding that not all Malaysians could afford new cars.
“People are now paying for nine-year loans (to buy a car)... Should they scrap it after 10 years?
“After nine years, they would have paid double the amount (the price of the car, with interest),” he said.
Marimuthu is of the view that old cars shouldn’t be seen as a problem if their owners maintained them well, strictly following the maintenance schedules.
“Even I have owned cars of more than 10 years old. My current car is seven years old.”
He said in countries where vehicle end-of-life policy was introduced, the prices of cars were very low.
“In our country, the cheapest car is over RM30,000. A lot of Malaysians are driving old cars because they can’t afford new ones. If you scrap the old ones, then in my office, no one will have a car.
“In Malaysia, people still need to own cars. Public transport still not reliable, except in the Klang Valley. In rural areas the cars are even older (as) that’s what the people can afford. The cost of living is also high right now,” added Marimuthu.