Kepong MP: Scrap AP for all imports, not just food

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PM urged to abolish AP for all imported goods, including motor vehicles.

Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has called on Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to “be brave” and abolish approved permits (AP) for all imported goods, including motor vehicles, to provide a level playing field.

“The AP removal for food, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic, is timely as it will bring down increasing food prices.

“Why only abolish APs for food? The government should get rid of all APs, especially for motor vehicles, as this will also reduce red tape, which leads to corruption and an increase in the cost of imported goods,” said Lim in a statement.

“AP holders have been enjoying their special privileges for far too long. Instead of benefiting the people, the policy only benefits and enriches certain well-connected individuals at the expense of consumers.”

Ismail Sabri yesterday said the government has agreed to not impose AP requirement on food imports with immediate effect.

The move was made during a cabinet meeting and to ensure sufficient food supply in Malaysia.

“Introducing competition in the open market will help drive down the cost of imported goods.

“At the same time, local entrepreneurs will be in a better position to develop their global competitiveness and become key players in the international market,” Lim said.

Lim said if the government is serious about helping the industry grow and the country tide over the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, local manufacturers must be given special incentives to innovate and upgrade their technology and production facilities so they are on a par with their global counterparts.

If this is not done, removing AP for imported food alone will not be sufficient in combating inflation, he added.

Apart from some vegetables, meat and nine different types of seafood, APs were required to import mangoes, coconuts and papayas previously.