The team at OpenMalaysiaBlog just received this strange letter from a foreign MNC demanding that the Malaysian Government explain themselves on the choices this country wants to make.
It's strange, bizarre, and mind boggling. Enjoy!
Microcars (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
Level B2 Tower 2,
Petronas Twin Towers,
Kuala Lumpur City Center,
50088 Kuala Lumpur,
3rd July 2008
Big Chief of the Malaysian Government,
Re: MAVEMPU's Migration to OpenCars
First of all, I would like to thank you for your time and fruitful meeting on 18th May 2008.
Further to our discussion, we would like to express our concern and seek some clarification on Malaysian Vehicle Modernisation Planning Unit's (MAVEMPU) recent announcement that it is migrating to OpenCars and demolishing all its Microcars by the end of this year.
Please let us assure you that we support promoting the awareness, training and skills related to locally produced cars, and we are certainly not against the use by anyone of locally assembled vehicles based on merit and cost consideration. In fact, we believe in the co-existence of local cars and imported cars and we leave it to the end users to decide or choose freely which vehicle best suits their needs.
Our position is also in line with the Cabinet's policy on "vehicular neutrality" which was reaffirmed by the Minister concerned in November 2006 that the government would not favour one technology, platform or vendor over another (unless security, safety or national interests are involved).
The Cabinet's decision on "vehicular neutrality" is also consistent with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO) which do not support any procurement policy that favors one foreign car vendor over another.
We are wondering, based on the announcement and feedback, whether or not the above action by MAVEMPU's goes against the spirit of Cabinet's policy on "vehicular neutrality" and also the rules of WTO.
We are particularly concerned with MAVEMPU's decision to demolish all its current inventory of Microcars cars as it does not make administrative sense and logic to do so. There is no technical requirement to obliterate the cars for any garage to service and house OpenCars. It also presents no real cost savings to the organization. Perhaps MAVEMPU should further clarify this aspect of their program and why they are doing this.
With the greatest respect, we would also like to know if there was any proper study done before MAVEMPU decided on the vehicle migration program. If such a study was done, we would like to know the content of the study and how MAVEMPU based its recent decision on it. We believe that this is not purely an internal technical or administrative matter as we feel that MAVEMPU's above decision has wider implications for the Car Industry in the country.
MAVEMPU makes and enforces policies and it also acts as the role model in promoting administrative efficiency in the government. The government is a major user and purchaser of cars and vehicle procurement policies by the government has a major impact on the development of the Car Industry in Malaysia. There should be greater transparency surrounding the basis of such decisions by MAVEMPU as it is of public interest and there are no state secrets involved.
Since the above announcement by MAVEMPU, many of our Malaysian car distributers and partners (who see this case as a threat to their transport business and livelihood) have written to us to express their worries and anxieties. Therefore, we feel this issue may have far reaching implications to Malaysians who are involved in the development and trading of proprietary and foreign vehicles.
We are also extremely concerned whether this vehicle migration program by MAVEMPU is a prelude to similar implementations in other governmental departments or agencies as well. We have also received information that PUSPAKOM is also launching the same initiative on migrating to OpenCars. We would like to hereby seek your clarification on this matter.
We hope you would view the above concern expressed by us in a constructive manner and as a genuine feedback from the Car industry.
Senior Director Government Affairs
For Microcars Malaysia
Don't you think it's rather presumptuous of this particular foreign company to question the right of a country's choice in a certain product? Maybe it's because all these foreign companies just think that it's not about choosing but about having a choice, and we poor third rate countries haven't the brains to think for ourselves.