Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak) named two companies allegedly connected to former International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (BN-Kuala Kangsar) which had been issued with Approved Permits (AP) but did not even have a showroom.
He said one of the companies Autostadt Sdn Bhd belonged to the husband of Rafidah’s niece was also issued with franchise APs after the government decided to stop its issuance in 2005.
“After 2005, the then MITI secretary-general Tan Sri Sidek Hassan had approved the issue of franchise APs to Autostadt for the import of Volkswagen cars. He did it without the knowledge of the committee formed specifically for the purpose of issuing APs.
“What is more disturbing is that Autostadt to this day has no showroom or sales and service centre which is a condition for the issuance of such franchise AP,” he said when seeking clarification from Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan who was winding-up his ministry debate at the committee stage of Budget 2009 in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Azmin alleged that another company connected to Rafidah’s relative, Amira Venture Sdn Bhd, had been issued open APs (to bring in any type of car) over two years.
Without giving the names of the company directors or saying how they were related to Rafidah, he said Amira Venture received 150 APs last year and 225 this year.
“How were they issued with APs? The issuance of APs must be done transparently and fairly. But companies related to ministers are making billions of money out of it,” he said, adding the AP has become a “centre of cronyism” for those in power.
He said the APs were issued to a few people while the others have to buy it at about RM50,000 each.
He gave an example whereby 77 companies had been issued with 45,686 permits from 2004 to 2007 but they were not fairly distributed.
“On the average, all 77 should each receive 600 APs. If each AP was at RM50,000, each company would gain cash returns of RM30 million without having to take any risks. But that is not the case too.
“Some like Naza Konsortium Sdn Bhd were given 8,431 permits from 2004 to 2006. So, it would stand to make RM424 million without even having to bring in a single vehicle,” Azmin added.
APs given to companies linked to Rafidah