NAP; Dinosaur juice versus Electricity!

POSTED BY Kaynis Chong ON 19 February 2020

Dinosaur Juice National Automotive Policy.
Malaysia is going to launch its refreshed National Automotive Policy (NAP) this Friday but going from what we already know from auto industry participants who have attended feedback sessions, and there won’t be the kind of sweeping change that will make exports the focus of the nation’s auto assemblers. Neither will there be the scale of response to emissions reduction that Singapore announced in its budget yesterday. Will the new NAP give Malaysia a fresh edge?

Increasingly and in the context of the UK’s and Singapore’s 2020 budget launched early this week, Malaysia’s transport and automotive policy look more and more dinosaur-like in a world where nations are scrambling to cope with climate change. It’s time that the government clears the 1970’s baggage of inextricably intertwined policies of transport and manufacturing and do a re-set. It should be a policy that addresses national productivity, climate change and technological advancement, i.e. the Ministries of Finance, Green Technology and International Trade and Industry.

Firstly, Malaysia wants to promote high-value export-based automotive manufacturing industry, and one of the unexpected consequences is that Malaysia is caught into an import-substitution trap.

Secondly, while nations are striving to promote sustainability, including renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions, Malaysia is, on the contrary, subsidising fossil fuel for motorists. And not that it’s a net exporter too. Current transport and manufacturing policies are in their silos. There should be a bold policy to promote sustainable transport, starting with early adopter incentives for electric vehicles and hydrogen fuels and fuel cells. And for the manufacturing sector, a decade has passed since the launch of the first National Automotive Policy. Malaysia hasn’t seen any significant progress in the ambition to be a regional automotive hub if that means export of cars or software.

Don’t be a Dinosaur, be Green!

However, the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) says that the automotive component industry has grown exports significantly.A broad policy sword should be wielded to cut through the raft of policies from the 1970’s which intertwined the noble objectives of the social re-engineering of the transport industry and to focus on manufacturing industries to pull the nation forward. Every nation has its own transport policies to suit its needs. For a rich country with a well-developed and progressive transport system it could be about climate change as reflected in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement early this month that UK will stop selling petrol and diesel-fuelled vehicles by 2035.


Singapore is another example of a rich and advanced country with its unique transport policy, one that reflects its philosophy of minimising traffic congestion and encouraging public transport. Its 2020 budget announced on Tuesday advances its commitment to a cleaner environment by giving incentives to early adopters of Electric Vehicles.

In his Budget speech on Tuesday (Feb 18), Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat laid out several measures to do this.”Our vision is to phase out ICE and have vehicles run on cleaner energy by 2040,” Mr Heng said, adding that this goal is for “both public health and climate change reasons” as reported in the Singapore Straits Times. Let’s see what the revised National Automotive Policy (NAP) will have for bringing Malaysia to speed with its Thai and more recently, Indonesian, competitors.

LTA Singapore