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21 Nov 2013 | By Eileen Ng, The Malaysian Insider

Putrajaya scraps proposal for 12-year cap on life span of cars

Putrajaya has pulled the brakes on a plan to impose a 12-year cap on the life span of cars after facing objections from the opposition and car owners.

Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the federal government has no plans to go ahead with the proposal.

"I want to stress we have no plans to impose a cap on the life span on cars for disposal purposes as we do not want to burden the public," he told Sim Tze Tzin (PKR - Bayan Baru) in Parliament today during question time.

The proposal has come under fire from Sim and his colleague Rafizi Ramli (PKR - Pandan) who had charged that it was Putrajaya's way of collecting more revenue through the Good and Services Tax (GST) that would take off in April 2015.

Rafizi had said the plan should be scrapped as excise duty still remained high while Darrell Leiking (PKR - Penampang) had pointed out safety aspects should be addressed first before considering such policy.

Car owners in Malaysia, most of whom take hire-purchase loans of up to nine years to buy vehicles which are costly due to high excise duties, also objected to the proposal.

The proposal came about after the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (Miros) director-general Profesor Dr Wong Shaw Voon said that cars that are more than 12 years old are not safe to be on the road.

"There is a higher risk of deaths in accidents, as such cars could be faulty without the driver being aware of it. Most cars are designed to have a life span of five to 12 years," he had said.

Putrajaya has revealed that there are more than 22 million vehicles on the road in Malaysia with more than five million older than 10 years.

Abdul Aziz also said steps had been taken to lower road tax for vehicles with low motor capacity.

In citing examples, he said owners of vehicles less than 1,000cc and below only pay RM20 every year for road tax while those who own cars between 1,400cc and 1,600cc only pay a yearly rate of RM90.

"Any further reduction can only be decided by the Finance Ministry," he said.