Barisan Nasional stole Pakatan Rakyat’s idea

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KUALA LUMPUR – The Barisan Nasional government will adopt the idea of reducing car prices and will implement it in the 2013 Budget.

This is the claim made by Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s director of strategies Rafizi Ramli.

Rafizi claimed that he was informed by sources within Putrajaya that BN would adopt the idea similar to PKR’s car price reduction campaign and would eventually begin reducing automobile prices.

“It won’t be a surprise if this surfaces in Budget 2013,” he told Malaysian Digest today.

However, he declined to elaborate on the source, only claiming that it originated from the Putrajaya administration.

Rafizi cited a statement by the Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), which echoed support for cheaper cars by gradually reducing excise duties. He said it won’t come as a shock to him if BN adopts the initiative as well.

“Those who have labelled our campaign as a futile attempt should be careful. One day, BN will seize upon the idea and implement it as its own,” he said.

Rafizi said he doesn’t mind if that happens as it fits with their overall goal.

“It doesn’t matter if that happens. Our main aim is to reduce the burden of household debt on the people,” he said.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah echoed Rafizi’s statement, and believed they had achieved much in the campaign.

“MAA has given qualified support for our proposal, and the government’s move to revise the national automotive policy to address gradual reduction of car prices – post our proposal,” she said.

PKR had on Aug 15 announced that they aim to reduce car prices by launching a nationwide campaign, Turunkan Harga Kereta (Lower Car Prices), a pledge they claim will be fulfilled if they take control of Putrajaya.

PKR has promised to reduce car price by slashing the triple-tax burden, which are the excise and import duties as well as sales tax, that is currently being imposed on cars in the country.

This initiative was taken as the party believes that taxpayers should no longer need to be imposed on additional financial burden as revenue could be earned through other means since the cut down on excise duties would cut government income by roughly RM8 billion.

The campaign took place three days before Hari Raya, where stickers supporting the campaign had been distributed to high profile areas with heavy traffic of people going back to their hometown.

The areas with heavy traffic included Tol Gombak, Tol Duta, and Tol Damansara, while stickers were distributed after Friday prayers in Bayan Baru.

Other localized areas are covered by PKR officers of the areas and the distribution is still on-going.

Rafizi said 50,000 stickers had been printed and approximately 30,000 had been distributed, where 20,000 was handed out to ‘balik kampong’ crowd alone.

He said the overall outcome of the campaign has been well supported by the public, especially in Sabah and Sarawak region.

“The feedback has been overwhelming as we have covered thousands of cars. We also provide the soft copy of the image used for the sticker on the campaign’s Facebook page to enable the public to print the stickers themselves. This has been made simple so people can replicate it easily in support of the campaign.

“In Sabah and Sarawak, they are a lot more advanced than peninsular Malaysia where they have also come up with their own stickers. Their natural terrain requires them to acquire pick-up trucks and the like, which is very expensive. This campaign is significant for them as it would burden them less in car purchasing,” he said.

Rafizi added that they are currently gaining momentum as many see that this is a powerful campaign involving the reduction of household debt.


— mD