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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        12 January 2011

Abolishing Malaysia AP system would affect auto workers

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About 70,000 workers in the country's automotive industry would lose their jobs if the Approved Permit (AP) policy for vehicle import is scrapped in 2015, says the Association of Malay Importers and Traders of Motor Vehicles Malaysia (Pekema).

Its Deputy Chief, Datuk Wan Zaid Wan Abdullah today said the luxury car industry was not limited to the sales of cars but involved after sales services as well.

"The abolishment of AP policy will jeopordize the welfare of 70,000 workers who are involved in the automotive sector besides obstructing Bumiputera from further progressing, particularly in the automotive industry.

"In view of this, Pekema hopes the leaders of the country will defend the policy and not react to criticisms and give in to the wishes of those wanting to abolish the policy," he said during a seminar here today related to the socio economic development of Bumiputeras.

On claims that the AP policy only profited specific parties and that it would jeopordize the country's national car programme, Wan Zaid they were not true as the AP policy was for a different car market.

On another note, Taib also invited automotive industry players to open factories in Similajau, Bintulu to produce parts and components for vehicles and engines.

With the aluminum plant in Similajau, those entering into the parts and components manufacturing business in the state would be able to save in operations and transportation costs to get liquid aluminum, he added.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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