According to political analysts, a government that is faced with a multitude of woes and troubles, will normally announce certain decisions to distract the public’s attention.
Some two weeks ago, the N.A.P. (National Automotive Policy) was announced. But today, the Malaysian government has made a decision to do away or “scrap” all vehicles which are 15 years old or older.
Alternatively, 15 years or older vehicles, had to mandatory undergo inspection by Puspakom authorities.
Since the announcement of the N.A.P. was made, the government was reported to have received numerous complaints from people who were generally not agreeable to the mandatory annual comprehensive inspection as a requirement for road tax renewal for vehicles aged 15 years or older.
One of the biggest protests from the public came from the 30,000 strong Volkswagen club, whose owned Beetles more than 30 years old.
Besides the above, the public, especially those living in rural areas found this policy a burden to them.
With the government’s decision to agree pulling back the introduction on an end of life policy for vehicles after taking into consideration the people’s view and feedback, thus ended strong protests from people of all walks of life throughout the nation.
Meanwhile, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustafa Muhamed said, the Cabinet had decided to withdraw the policy after getting negative feedback from the public.
Let us now consider in greater detail why the N.A.P. policy was unsuitable for the nation’s consumption.
First, the nation is currently undergoing an economic slowdown. It is not viable to suggest people, especially the poor to consider buying new cars.
It must be remembered, new cars need costly First Party insurance. Petrol prices are still very high. They might cost even higher in the near future.
Secondly, old cars are normally owned by “pensioners” who are living from hand to mouth. These old cars are the only means of transport they have.
To expect these group of people to send their cars for annual inspection to Puspakom will be a burden.
Middle men or “runners” demand a high fee for approximately RM150 for an inspection. Unless the vehicle is in rather good condition, there is no guarantee that it will pass Puspakom’s inspection.
Thirdly, Malaysia is considered to be a democratic country. The decision to whether to use an old car or a new car rests with the people’s choice.
No one should be forced to do something against his will. Making it compulsory for a people to send his old car to the authorities for an annual mandatory examination, does not augur well for the nation, especially those ruling the country currently.
Fourthly, the number of Puspakom’s inspection centres across the country can easily be counted using the fingers of the palm. Making it a compulsory and mandatory inspection for cars every year will definitely cause lots of inconvenience, especially the poor, rural folks.
Unless more Puspakom centres are opened all throughout the nation, this decision to check vehicles should for the time being be shelved.
Fifthly, to assume that all vehicles more than 15 years are not in road worthy conditions, is definitely incorrect.
There are many people I know, who take good care of their vehicles. There are 15 years old cars which are mechanically sound.
Whether a vehicle is mechanically sound or otherwise, should be left to the owner himself to decide. Let him be the person, as an owner of the vehicle to decide what needs to be done.
Although the government has made the decision to scrap the end of life policy for vehicles, it should be borne in mind, the N.A.P. is still a good policy.
There is nothing wrong with the above policy. Compulsory checking for a vehicle more than 15 years, is indeed a good move. It should be recommended for all cars, as a matter of fact.
Even when the government authorities have shelved the decision to inspect old vehicles, we can take the initiative to check our cars.
For safety, after all, is for our own good and well being. Therefore, should you feel your 15 year old car needs to be sent for inspection, by all means do so.