“Now that Mahathir is back as Prime Minister, should he not take off where he last left in 2005 by seeking an explanation from Rafidah? Or did she burn all the AP files, which probably explains the terrible haze that almost choked the life out of right thinking Malaysians last year?”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
موڠكين جروبو تاهون لڤس دسببكن ءرافيده بكر فايل-فايل اڤء
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he would not hesitate to revoke government aids, particularly the Approved Permits (APs), in instances where they’re abused and sold off for profit.
According to him, the actions perpetuated by some to earn quick profit had hindered the success of government policies aimed at helping the poor.
Actually, I like what the Prime Minister said. And mind you, this is not the first time he pointed out elements of abuse in the Approved Permit system, especially that concerning the import and sales of luxury cars.
On the 22ndof July 2005, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang issued a lengthy press statement, joining the ranks of then Minister for Culture, Arts and Heritage Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim in seeking clarification from Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz over the issue of luxury car APs.
The senior Lim wrote:
“The pressure for Rafidah to apologise to Mahathir is becoming so irresistible that no one will be surprised if such an apology is tendered before the end of the UMNO General Assembly tomorrow.
“However, the apology Rafidah must really make is to the nation for the APs scandal under her 18-year watch as Minister for International Trade and Industry resulting in APs becoming the symbol for greed and abuse of power detrimental to the interests of both the people and the national car industry.
“There is no doubt that to the delegates, Rafidah was the face of the government failures and injustices, especially after the release by the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday of the shocking list of 67,158 APs for 2005 – comprising 17,526 Open APs and 49,632 Franchise APs, with the bulk monopolized by the four APs King and Kings!”
Yes, even Kit Siang was shocked with the list Tun Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi instructed his office to release, furnishing details of luxury-car Aps monopolised primarily by persons associated with yours truly, Rafidah Aziz.
Even Mahathir seemed pissed about the whole affair and made no bones about xxx.
When then Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz tried to pour cold water on Mahathir’s dissatisfaction with Rafidah by calling it a personal matter between them, Kit Siang went on the offensive and issued yet another press statement.
“How can this be a personal matter when discussing a scandal involving misuse and abuse of tens of thousands of APs worth billions of ringgit given to the few AP Kings, who Mahathir sneered used their extraordinary wealth to fly around in helicopters? How can this matter be not an official issue when the future of Proton and its 300,000 employees are at stake, until Mahathir in exasperation challenged the government to close down Proton (if no one wants it)?
“This AP issue is also a real issue that affects the official duties and responsibilities of the government because it involves a former Prime Minster and the current Minister of International Trade and Industry. Mahathir claimed that he was cheated by Rafidah, when he was Prime Minister, into announcing Naza as a national and local car. Rafidah has failed to respond or show proof that she was not involved in the AP scandal.”
I’m giving Kit Siang two thumbs up for this one. Question is, why is he not training his guns at Rafidah now that the Attorney General seems favourable towards “Anything DAP” (ADAP)?
On the 30thof August 2018, I wrote:
“Having led MITI for 21 years, Rafidah was given a free hand to push the yes and no buttons in ways that benefitted the staunchest of her proponents in more ways than one. What bothered ministry insiders most was the lackadaisical attitude she displayed when it was brought to her attention that AP holders were trading permits under the counter in cash terms and through the solicitation of business favours.
“And we’re talking 156 out of 254 companies that, throughout her tenure, lost their permits due to abuse in the system. The abuse added thousands upon thousands of dollars – not ringgits – to the retail cost of imported cars, meaning, Malaysians were paying a helluva lot of money for the average Mercedes and Volvo due to the exorbitant rates with which APs were being sold.
“Rafidah is believed to have chalked up millions upon millions a year through ‘commissions’ he (or she) was not supposed to earn. However, if things go as planned, much of those millions may likely stop coming her way beginning the 31st of December 2020.
“If you’re wondering why, that is the day the Gom is supposed to pull the brakes on the franchise AP system. Rafidah may already have felt the pinch back on the 31st of December 2015 when the open AP system was abolished. A set of documents that surfaced in 2005 revealed that she turned the system into a “lucrative middle-man cash cow operation” by granting APs to four of her cronies.”
Now that Mahathir is back as Prime Minister, should he not take off where he last left in 2005 by seeking an explanation from Rafidah?
Or did she burn all the AP files, which probably explains the terrible haze that almost choked the life out of right thinking Malaysians last year?