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Mahathir: Test drive the new Saga and Persona before condemning

 | February 28, 2017

Former prime minister says management and engineers of Proton Holdings should be congratulated for learning from mistakes and building better models.

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KUALA LUMPUR: The man who pushed for made-in-Malaysia cars today took to task those who continue to criticise Proton makes as being inferior.

In his latest blog post, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said those who condemned Proton cars did so because Proton cars were “not of the same standard as foreign cars”.

“I suggest they test-drive the new Saga and Persona. I found a lot of differences between the old Protons and the new Protons.”

The former prime minister said the management, engineers and workers in Proton should be congratulated for the improvements made.

“If you don’t agree with me, it is okay. But I own and drive the old Proton and the new ones. I think Proton has learnt something about making cars.”

Mahathir ended the blog post on a sarcastic note: “Frankly Malaysia would be a better country if we stayed as the colony of Europeans or other developed countries. They obviously know better than us about governance and the development of countries. And they will produce better cars, making us proud of our technology.”

In a blog post a year ago, too, he had said new models were evidence that Proton cars were on par with or superior to foreign competitors.

Mahathir has been under recent attack for allegedly being “unwilling” to give Proton a chance to survive.

In an earlier blog post, he had said he was sad that Proton was to be sold to foreign companies.

“Having a strategic partner is OK. But once Proton is sold to foreigners it will cease to be a national car. It will just be producing foreign cars in Malaysia. That is something we have been doing since the 1970s.”

He had said he was open to the idea of Proton selling some of its stake but would object if the entire company was sold off to a foreign company.


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