PETALING JAYA - The Government should consider reviewing import and excise duties for cars and other modes of transportation, and their parts and equipment as part of subsidy rationalisation, said MCA vice president Datuk Chua Tee Yong.
"This is to ensure that the cost of ownership of vehicles does not further burden the people, especially those from the middle income group."
"Although our petrol and diesel prices are subsidised, the price of vehicles in Malaysia is higher compared to most of our neighbours," said Chua, who is MCA economic consultative committee chairman, in a statement. Chua noted that there was still uncertainty on the impact of goods and services tax on fuel and diesel.
"If GST is taxed on fuel and diesel in addition to the subsidy rationalisation, the burden on the people will be too great," he said.
He suggested that fuel and diesel be treated as zero rated in view of the subsidy rationalisation in the long term.
Chua cited a research by Maybank Investment Bank which stated that leakages cost the Government six billion litres in RON95 petrol subsidies, besides another 3.5 billion litres of diesel subsidies smuggled annually.
"The leakages and smuggling cost almost half of our annual 20 billion litres of fuel consumption.
"If we are to convert it into ringgit, it would amount to at least RM7bil (S$ 2billion) in subsidies alone, which covers almost one third of 2014 fuel subsidies."
"This is of great concern as the demand for fuel has risen due to the increasing number of vehicles and the country's oil reserves are depleting," he said.