PUTRAJAYA: Retired prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has accused the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (Miti) of covering up the issue of award of national status to South Korean-made cars.
"As far as the so-called approval of Naza cars as a national car, I think Miti knows very well. You know cover-ups are wrong. Certainly, we must not cover up and lie to the public. That is wrong.
"The government must not allow cover-ups. It is Miti that is doing that. Not me. We must not cover up. That is bad, especially if we now believe in transparency," he said, referring to the disclosure by Miti that Tan Sri Nasimuddin S.M. Amin, managing director of Naza Group, received 12,524 Approved Permits (APs) this year.
The company was first granted APs in 1997.
The company, which imports Kia vehicles, assembles some models under the Naza brand at its plant in Kedah.
Mahathir, who said this during a press conference after the launch of the inaugural Perdana Global Peace Forum at the Perdana Leadership Foundation centre on Monday, added that International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, who was grilled by MPs last week, had still not answered his questions on the AP issue.
Among them, he said, were "The number of APs given. Why only two or three persons (given the bulk of the APs) when there are hundreds of others asking for APs?
"Why was the new category of AP, franchise APs, introduced which prevented others from operating their businesses?
"Why were the declared prices of import cars so low?"
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