Datuk Shahrin Zahari, 28 year-old, is an Exco member of UMNO Putera.
His datukship was conferred by Melaka Governor Tun Khalil Yaakob in 2006.
According to Rocky’s Bru:
“(Datuk)Shahrin has just secured a government approval for some 1,200 open approved permits (AP) for hybrid cars which will make him one very hot player in the auto industry.
( This Umno-led ) Government is going to provide a lot of tax breaks for Shahrin’s hybrid car venture come budget time as part of the Prime Minister’s new drive to inculcate frugal living as a solution to the fuel price woes.”
The 28-year old Datuk Shahrin is the chairman of PREMIER Hybrid Cars Sdn Bhd (PHC), which the Goverment (Ministry of Trade and Industry) gave the rights to import and distribute hybrid cars, and it has submitted proposals for tax breaks.
Where is the catch?
To start with, Datuk Shahrin has powerful connections in the government, and political and corporate world.
It is highly unlikely you will get these kind of connections if you are not part of the UMNO-crony/family.
* His father is the late Datuk Zahari Wahab, a deputy chief executive of the Ranhill Group.
* His cousin is Datuk Haniff Aziz, is a former official with the Ministry of Trade and Industry and is is one of Malaysia’s three ‘Heavenly Kings’ of APs. Haniff of Westar and Autostar fame is worth about RM300 million due to the AP business.
* Datuk Shahrin is a good buddy of Khairy Jamaludin, the Prime Minister’s son-in-law and a newly elected Member of Parliament.
* Datuk Shahrin is an Exco Member of UMNO Putera
Datuk Shahrin’s partner for the hybrid car venture is a 22-year Nik Iruwan Nik Izani. Iruwan’s father is Nik Izani Nik Ibrahim, who is a a senior Vice-President in the Mofaz group.
Premier Hybrid Cars to specialise in hybrid models
With fuel prices set to keep going up, economising on fuel consumption is getting more and more important. Various technologies using alternative fuels, eg fuel cells, are still in their infancy or have yet to be commercialised so we’re stuck with the fossil-fuelled internal combustion (IC) engine which is more than 100 years old. In the meantime, there are few alternatives available and so far, hybrid vehicles – with powerplants that comprise and electric motor and small IC engine – are the most attractive though they still cost more the conventional models due to the technology.
Lexus version of the Toyota Harrier Hybrid
Honda Civic Hybrid – already offered here by Honda Malaysia
With the government’s encouragement to promote hybrid models, one company has quickly got into the business of offering such models to the public. Premier Hybrid Cars Sdn Bhd (PHC) claims to be the first hybrid distributor in Malaysia (actually Honda Malaysia has been offering the Civic Hybrid since early this year) and will invest in facilities to support the sales and after-sales of such vehicles.
In view of the high prices of hybrid models, PHC has approached the Ministry of Finance for incentives such as a tax reduction so as to make hybrid cars more affordable. The company says that, in the long run, the public will not only be breathing cleaner air but there would be cost-saving benefits for them because they can save at least 50% on fuel costs.
“We at PHC fully support the government’s move to revise the National Automotive Policy. It is important that hybrid cars in the Malaysian market will be made more affordable. We have full confidence that the Malaysian government will produce a policy that will suit the public,” said Dato’ Shahrin bin Zahari, Chairman of Premier Hybrid Cars.
Hybrid vehicles usually have the powerplant – comprising an electric motor and small petrol engine – in front and a large battery at the back or underneath the floor
“Besides distribution, PHC will also be involved directly and indirectly in the retail business. We have approved Nizra Otomobil to become our dealer. Our future plans include partnering more dealers around the country and opening more showrooms in high density areas such as Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru, he said, adding that the vehicles are already in the country and the company is awaiting the ministry’s response before proceeding further.
Initially, PHC will be importing three hybrid models made by Toyota – the Toyota Harrier, Alphard and Estima. It is understood that the units are purchased from dealers in Japan and PHC will provide customers with a warranty and parts support.
Without the tax incentives, the price of the Estima Hybrid is estimated to be in the region of RM328,000. In the near future, other models such as the highly popular Toyota Prius will also be imported and could include those from Honda as well as Ford (the Escape Hybrid which Ford has yet to produce a righthand drive version of). The company aims to sell at least 1,200 hybrids during their first full year of business.