Hi YB Anthony Loke, Minister of TransportPOSTED BY Yamin Vong ON 25 May 2018
Dear YB Anthony Loke
We liked your message that you preferred the MOT staff to serve the customers rather than waste time on welcoming ceremonies for him. For this time, I suppose you should excuse them because they are very excited to welcome a new leader with a fresh vision and no baggage.
Today, we also appreciate your directive to the RTD towithdraw the issuance of vanity plates to NGO’s and the return of that function to the Road Transport Department. On that same score, the current bidding SOP for registration numbers is flawed and exploited by middlemen for their own gain. This should be minimized.
When you have time, please look at two issues:
- Emergency alert system: The MOT has requested that all new cars sold in Malaysia must have an automatic emergency alert system by June 2018. This is good but it costs money and will increase the cost of the car. Additionally, the Malaysia Automotive Association has met with MOT officials a few times asking for a three-year deferment so that the emergency alert system can be phased in economically. But it looks like the vendors of the system are powerful enough to lobby for an early introduction of this safety initiative without taking into consideration the cost to the buyers. While high-end cars such as BMW already have this, perhaps make it as an optional feature for Perodua, Proton and other volume cars until mandatory implementation in 2020?
- Malaysia is in a ridiculous situation where we don’t have timely automotive sales statistics. We used to have semi-official figures from the Malaysia Automotive Association (MAA) monthly. It’s now one year late. While some car companies would fudge sales figures, it didn’t really affect the integrity of the data over the medium and long term. MAA’s data then was good enough for automotive journalists to write about which was the leading car company, the top car model in the various segments. This ended in 2012 after some Malaysia Competition Commission (MyCC) officials robustly interpreted the Act to deem that the MAA’s data ran counter to the Act. MyCC’s position is at odds with the reality that car companies are competitive to the Nth degree. The Malaysia Automotive Institute (MAI) also couldn’t break the deadlock with the RTD’s officials who didn’t want to understand the concept of big data.
So now, for a car company or a bank to analyse the Malaysian automotive industry on a timely basis, it must buy individual files from the RTD at rm10 per car registration data. That’s RM450,000 per month of data at an average 45,000 cars sold a month.
Previously, the RTD’s commercial department had a revenue stream selling big data to car companies, banks, insurance companies and data mining companies. That revenue stream is now almost ZERO because of some RTD officials who thought that they could profit the department from MyCC’s counter-intuitive stance.
Dear YB Anthony Loke, best regards and trust you will earn the trust of the people in the MOT and RTD. They are key to successful implementation.