KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — The government has no intention to phase out the approved permit (AP) system for car imports, said Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry (MITI) Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

He said the system was still in effect even though the government is allowing Tesla Inc, a global electric vehicle (EV) maker, to sell cars in the country without the usual AP rules.

“We are not discussing that (abolishing the AP system) yet, (there is) no intention at this point of time,” he told reporters after officiating at the Proton Global Investors and Vendors Convention 2023 here today.

The government had previously announced that Tesla was the first approved applicant of the BEV Global Leaders initiative by MITI, which aims to help boost battery electric vehicles’ (BEV) demand in the local market and further promote the development of the entire ecosystem to support BEV adoption.

Tengku Zafrul said the AP system would still be in use even though the approved company is another car maker, as long as it brings the technology that Malaysia seeks.

“The AP is still there. What we have announced is (that) we want them (companies) to bring the technology in.

“We are consistent not just to Tesla, but to whichever that brings the value that Tesla can bring, we are going to treat it consistently. It’s not exclusive for Tesla,” he explained.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the collaboration between the Malaysian government and the founder and chief executive officer of Tesla Inc and SpaceX, Elon Musk, will create tens of thousands of skilled job opportunities in the country.

He said Musk, during their 25-minute virtual meeting, has agreed to make significant investments in Malaysia, including setting up Tesla’s headquarters in Cyberjaya as well as to collaborate with the government, involving his company, SpaceX, the satellite Internet service Starlink and EV.


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