Private firms such as SilTerra to fund 3rd national car, says Mahathir

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

KUALA LUMPUR: Private entities, such as SilTerra Malaysia Sdn Bhd, will fund the third national car project, Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.

“We welcome the willingness by private entities such as SilTerra to lend their expertise in the new national car project.

“SilTerra is Khazanah’s sister company and it is capable of producing car components following its vast experience in making semiconductor chips for various industries for more than two decades,” he said.

Malaysiakini reported Mahathir as saying this in a parliamentary reply to Senator Chai Kim Sen, who asked whether the RM20 million grant for the project was to help GLCs such as SilTerra, which had recorded cumulative losses of RM7.3 billion for 10 years up to 2011.

Mahathir told Chai that SilTerra earned RM600 million annually on average and made profits of RM60 million over three consecutive years.

The report quoted him as saying that the third national car project was also about utilising the talent pool and resources in the country to create an ecosystem in which entrepreneurs and industries could thrive.

Mahathir said the project would create job opportunities for youths.

Mahathir proposed a third national car last June after saying Proton could no longer be considered a national car, as almost half of its equity had been sold to China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in 2017.