KUALA LUMPUR: A political blogger today slammed former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for being “unwilling” to give Proton a “chance to survive”.
Lim Sian See, referring to Mahathir’s blog post titled “Proton”, said Mahathir had been at Proton’s helm for 32 years but had failed.
Despite this, “Mahathir still wants Proton to remain status quo and is unwilling to give it a chance to survive, break free from the constraints of our small domestic car market and spread its wings internationally with a joint-venture partner”.
Lim Sian See is a pseudonym used by the blogger.
Lim said Mahathir had attacked Proton’s plan to bring in a joint-venture partner as this would cause vendors and suppliers of components to close shop, resulting in “lots of workers losing their jobs”.
Lim said, “It appears that the suppliers and vendors to Proton continue to be Mahathir’s main concern. In a previous post in October, Mahathir had complained that his businessmen friends were not given supplier contracts by Proton.
“Does Mahathir continue to insist that the welfare of his supplier friends who have gotten rich over the decades from Proton are more important than the survival of Proton?”
He added, “Mahathir insists that Malaysia re-impose heavy protection to Proton. It appears that more than three decades of forcing Malaysia to purchase over-priced and low specifications cars while driving up the loan burden of millions of Malaysians is not enough.”
The anonymous blogger reminded Mahathir that the government no longer owned Proton and that it belonged to DRB Hicom, owned by Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary
Lim said, “If Mahathir truly believes he can save Proton, he should ask DRB Hicom to sell Proton to his son (Mokhzani).” He said Malaysian Business magazine had ranked Mokhzani as the 9th richest Malaysian in 2014 with a personal fortune of RM4.2 billion.
This, he said, would allow Mokhzani to distribute Proton cars on top his current Porsche cars distribution business.