PETALING JAYA: Allegations of hanky-panky in the Approved Permit (AP) scheme has reached the ears of the Prime Minister who wants the authorities to probe the issue.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad said at a press conference in Putrajaya on Friday that he wanted to know who the offenders were.
"Can you give me the names? We will look into it."
Dr Mahathir has been a long-time critic of the AP scheme, which he said enriched only a few people and undermine local cars.
APs need to be properly regulated as some people see it as a get-rich-quick scheme rather than use it for a legitimate business, he said.
He was responding to recent media reports that 36 new open AP holders were attempting to make a quick buck by selling their APs to established players for between RM18,000 and RM22,000 each.
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The Ministry of International Trade and Industry confirmed that 36 new AP holders were appointed this year.
Minister Datuk Darell Leiking had said a day earlier that his ministry needed evidence of AP abuse before action could be taken.
The new AP holders had been vetted by internal and external auditors to ensure they complied with government criteria, he added.
According to a local online motoring news site, citing an unnamed AP holder, the government had restricted the yearly AP quotas to established AP holders in order to make room for new players.
However, the source alleged that the new AP holders were only interested to sell their APs to the established players for quick gains.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry is responsible for issuing open APs, which is an import permit offered to qualified bumiputra companies to import and sell reconditioned vehicles locally.