Most of us in a family must have owned a Proton car at one point in life. It was once hailed as a national pride and it was also Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir’s brainchild in his previous tenure as PM. Founded in 1984 but it was sold to China’s Geely last year, holding 49.9% stake while the remaining is held by local tycoon Syed Mokhtar Albukhary under DRB-Hicom, Malaysiakini reported. Dr Mahathir doesn’t consider Proton Holding as a Malaysia’s national carmaker now, he said in Nikkei Conference in Tokyo today.
“Proton is no longer our national car. It is now owned by China.
“Our ambition is to start another national car, maybe with some help from ASEAN countries and our other partners.
“Maybe Thailand, South Korea or even Japan,” said the premier.
According to NST, Dr Mahathir said Thailand and Japan are some of the countries who are experts in manufacturing automobiles. He stated his intention to collaborate with a regional country to start a new national car for the country.
This is actually not the first time Dr Mahathir had talked about his intention to start a new national car. In August 2017, Dr Mahathir said that if Pakatan Harapan were to win the election, there would be plans to start a new automobile national brand similar to Proton.
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