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Family bonding on a motocross track in the heart of KL

Yes, there’s a real motocross track in the shadow of multimillion car showrooms of Sungei Pencala in Kuala Lumpur. But you’ll have to use Google Maps to get there. Waze will give you the neighbors’ backyard jungle.

The track has been there for about five years and it was established by Oh Kah Beng aka Foreman Oh after his retirement as head of Lotus sportscar division in 2015.

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A dilemma is that kapchai’s or underbone motorcycles are many a family’s main form of transport

Can we reduce the fatal attraction between young riders and motorcycles?

Very few challenge the police’s proposal focussing on young and new motorcyclists to reduce the rate of road crash deaths in Malaysia.

It’s logical and now the police should present the data so that the initiative is inclusive of more sectors of society, beyond what the Traffic police presented to the Road Safety Department.

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Having your cake and eating it — car sales tax waiver

Here’s a happy note to start 2021: Malaysia is the only country in the region to partially waive car taxes to support the industry during the covid-19 pandemic.

Furthermore, the Sales and Service tax (SST) waiver for CKD cars and 50 per cent SST waiver for CBU cars was furthermore extended another six months to 30th June 2021 just two days before the waiver expired on 31st December 2020.

 “In this region, we’re the only country where the government gave the SST (sales and service tax) exemption to help the car industry and car buyers,” said a Proton dealer who has a handful of outlets in Johore and Kedah.

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Road Taxes to fix potholes

What’s the bigger picture of potholes and popular minister Datuk KJ crashing into one and suffering minor injuries?

While feeling sorry for him, his fall has focussed so much attention on one of the leading causes of road deaths.

Now we trust that this event involving the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation can morph into a good outcome: fixing potholes quickly and reducing the toll of motorcyclists in road crashes.

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Thai International Motor Expo 2020

With about one million domestic car sales and another million cars exported last year, the Thai auto industry proceeded with its tradition of two auto shows this year, pandemic notwithstanding.

The final event for this year, the Thai International Motor Expo organised by the IMC group, defined a radical trend in the market that Geely-Proton ignores at Malaysia’s peril.

That China cars have gained a foothold in the ASEAN car market via Thailand is a signal call for Malaysia’s Proton-Geely to gear up for exports. But CKD exports needs government nourishment. Will this be forthcoming with the current Perikatan National government?             

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A failure of governance reduces most State Parks and public picnic spots to dumpsites

Noting that cross border travel had recently been allowed, we thought that we’d go camping with our SUV’s and 4×4 vehicles in the week before Christmas.

Alvin who initiated the trip drew up an itinerary where, starting from Kuala Lipis, we would break camp every day, have lunch at a town en-route to the next campground.

This was an attractive innovation because with Waze and Whatsapp, the participants could join or depart on any day of the 7-day event.

Keeping to the SOP of maximum of 20 persons in a group was easy because our group started with 8 vehicles and 13 participants.

But because of the unsanitary conditions of the government designated recreational spot, three of the participants with families departed the following day and proceeded to a known and favourite beach campground at Batu Rakit, Terengganu.

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Another chance arises to fix Malaysia’s auto industry

There was a cheerful press release from Proton last week talking about plans to export its cars to Kenya, Pakistan, Brunei, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Congratulations to Proton.

But, all of these countries registered a total of 257,000 new car sales in 2019 compared to Indonesia and Thailand’s combined 2.2 million new car sales over the same period of time.

So why doesn’t Proton sell its cars to our two neighbors?

To cut a long story short: it’s because Malaysia’s locally assembled cars are not price competitive.

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