We ask what is the purpose of MAI |


Published on June 29th, 2018 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


We ask what is the purpose of MAI


We spoke recently to some senior automotive industry people and they shared their views of Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) with us. It seems that this government agency MAI has been left unchecked for years and this has allowed MAI to become a ‘business’ more than a government agency looking after the needs of the Malaysian automotive industry. We ask the questions and present some shared facts.


  • The Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) is a so called ‘Think Tank’ for the automotive industry. To date most Malaysian car brands are ‘FORCED’ to work with them at their Cyberjaya headquarters. The added cost to ‘WORK’ with them adds cost to every new car sold.
  • MAI also has training programs that car parts vendors are ‘FORCED’ to pay and participate which adds to their cost and this is transferred to the car manufacturers.
  • MAI has their own TV station, video team, large staff strength and a large beautiful office in Cyberjaya.
  • MAI staff regularly are taken to visit overseas car factories, Motor Shows, automotive trade shows and this is all paid by who?
  • MAI is the gate keeper of the much needed ‘Energy Efficient Vehicle’ (EEV) status that Malaysian car manufacturers need to get for lower tax payments to allow them to price their EEV cars lower.
  • MAI does NOT have the relevant testing facility and staff to evaluate vehicle fuel ratings and their emissions so how do they hand out their EEV status?
  • MAI should be run like MIDA who for the last 30 years have had a council to monitor the activities of MIDA staff. MIDA promotes business and they do it really well. MAI on the other hand leads a charge with no check and balance. So we ask for a financial and movement audit.
  • MAI ‘forces’ car manufactures who have been accorded the much wanted and needed EEV status to participate in a profit making yearly Motor Show. Motor Show’s should be run by private companies and not a government agency like MAI.
  • MITI (Ministry of International Trade & Industry) should be monitoring MAI as it is a government agency and not a private company.
  • MAI has still NOT brought forward the new National Automotive Policy and so many car manufacturers in Malaysia are in the dark about their future. Especially brands with large factories and have invested heavily.
  • MAI’s neglect of the Malaysian car industry is Thailand’s gain as we get news that Audi will now consider Thailand for local assembly as there is NO new automotive policy to guide their huge assembly investment. Thailand’s gain brings more jobs and investment for their people. Malaysia’s loss yet again.
  • MAI instead of working towards a new National Automotive Policy put up two….yes ‘2’ Motor Shows in the last 10 months.

More importantly …… the ‘Energy Efficient Vehicle’ or EEV status which many car brands are enjoying should now work directly with the International Trade and Industry (MITI) secretary-general and his capable team and not via its ‘car show’ agency, the Malaysian Automotive Institute (MAI) which was incorporated on the 16th of April 2010, to function as an independent non-profit organization under the custodian of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI).

It seems only the luxury cars brands with deep pockets are able to enjoy this plug-in hybrid EEV status and so the average Malaysian car buyer can only watch while driving their simple, yet effective petrol driven compact car.


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4 Responses to We ask what is the purpose of MAI

  1. Mohd Jaafar bin says:

    Siapa penulis ni…. sebelum tulis sesuatu mengenai agensi kerajaan ataupun syarikat sila buat interview dulu dengan CEO nya atau tuan punya… jangan tulis fitnah dan tohmahan yang menepati keperluan asas rakyat …..

    jangan samakan 1mdb dengan MAI ni tidak betul 100% kalau penulis ni hendak glamour sangat sila masuk politik bertanding lah lawan DSN haritu ni nampak sangat penulis ni tergesa gesa menulis sesuatu tampa ada homework terlebih dahulu jangan tulis cerita sampah yang menyusahkan orang lain … dan for sure bukan automotive player

    to force /paksa bayar itu dan ini memang tak betul saya sebagai automotive player dan MAI memang tidak pernah memaksa / force kami untuk membayar sesuatu service yg disediakan …

    kerajaan dulu memang tidak menyediakan baject untuk autoshow, traning dan sebagainya so siapa yg mahukan sesuatu perlu lah membayarnya sendiri so salah ke jika MAI *membantu kami menguruskan nya dengan join traning , class room , pakar pengajar dan sebagainya* sebenarnya kami automotive player lah yang meminta MAI membantu kami itu dan ini so MAI telah pun membantu dan berusaha untuk kami semua but for sure ianya bukan lah percuma sebab kami meminta lebih dari apa yang sepatutnya dan kerajaan memang takde baject untuk kami ….

    jika kita ke NPC untuk mendapatkan traning adakah iannya 100% free /percuma … jawapannya kita masih perlu kena bayar 50 % ke 25 % yuran traning so samalah dengan MAI cuma traning yang terdapat di MAI ni tidak terdapat di mana mana tempat kerana keperluan automotive player seperti kami amat berlainan dari lain lain industri

    .. sepatutnya soalan soalan ni boleh ditanya terus kepada CEO MAI dan bukannya menyebarkan maklumat palsu …. kalau saya lah yang menjadi CEO MAI you tunggu surat saman atau mungkin you boleh kenakan akta berita palsu

    Untuk penulis ni dan bakal penulis yang gila glamor /diva AAA sila buat homework sebelum sebarkan maklumat palsu

  2. Davwai says:

    This article is very strongly worded and seems to be in line with what has been developing in Malaysia lately. Very suffice to say, your article as indicated by your good self that it was based on information from a 3rd parties in the “industry”.
    Just to clarify, that I am no cyber keyboard warrior but a real person who had dealings with MAI and their working team.
    This team is led by a true professional who has a true and accurate in sight into the industry and has over the years implemented new policies and strategic plans for the improvement of the motoring industry. Of course, new strategies that might not benefit all will draw flakes and have disgruntled business owners.

    The NAP 2014 was presented a few years back and some of the strategies were implemented namely the EEV program. As of 28 February this year, the NAP 2018 was presented focusing on the connectivity and mobility that is in line with what the international vehicle industry is focusing on.

    During the past few years, I had a chance to witness that Malaysia’s motoring industry policy makers and road traffic authorities have been invited by our neighboring countries whom are not as advance as M’sia, to recommend and assist with their motoring industry development and road plannings.

    Despite all the shortcomings that Malaysia has gone thru due to certain personalities that is truly evident now, many of us do believe and know that Malaysia still have many capable and intelligent civil servants! Malaysia is still not rotten until there is no chance of revival.

    All matters and projects that are driven are updated accordingly to MITI in their management meetings with the respective officials either on a weekly or on a monthly basis. I am very sure that Dato Mustapa the previous MITI Minister is well aware of MAI’s developments.

    MAI in my 2cents worth of opinion, has definitely guided and honed the development of the motoring industry. Look at the number of new car brands that are setting up their plants in Malaysia to spring board into our neighboring countries. Malaysia in comparison to Thailand that is the Detroit of South East Asia has always been a different animal. It’s tag as the SEA Detroit indicates it’s strength and prowess in this region and it’s not wrong for some cAr brands to move their operations there!

    Hopefully with any upcoming new policies and eventually tax breaks and honorable and ethical business practices, Malaysia will be full of foreign investments!

    As a Malaysian, we hope the new Malaysia will grow into the Asian Tiger it was before!

    From my limited knowledge, MAI relies also from project initiatives implemented with the private industries and also from car importers. Doubt that strong handed tactics are used to force car manufacturers to work with them.

    Just my personal sharing based on my personal experience.

    Malaysia is our home… United we Malaysians stand…:-)

  3. Davwai says:

    Hi Daniel…Agreed with Jaafar on an interview with the CEO of MAI. Am sure he will extend to you the details of your pointers and the challenges that they are going thru in this industry.
    With your automotive blog, am sure you can educate the public. Cheers…

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