Malaysiakini Letter

Another new national car? Please …

Saleh Mohammed  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | Dear Tun Mahathir, I can understand your disappointment over the mostly negative response towards your initiative for a new national car. I am not sure whether you truly believe in having it or if you are just testing the waters.

I do subscribe that Proton is said to be a failure but then we have a success story in Perodua. Having said that, I still support Proton have been since the very beginning. My most recent purchase is a Preve over two years ago. Sad to say, the “Proton car” problems still exist.

I think, in this context, it is not proper for you to say that “Malaysia would become a country of consumers, paddy field planters and fishermen or forget about Vision 2020”.

We have moved on from there motivated by your vision but having another national car project will not necessarily help achieve Vision 2020 when we are only less than two years away.

At a time when we want to cut and save on mega-projects, we do not need another headache.

I would suggest that we look at ways and means to buy back the portion of Proton shares sold to foreigners.

Frankly, the rakyat has moved away from being planters and fishermen but look at our politicians and decision-makers. On the very first day at Parliament, there was a walkout over a trivial matter that could have been solved with intellectual discourse.

We would still walk away from issues and this is not a pretty sign. Not only we cannot solve a problem but we add to the problem.

The future of motor cars will be different with calls on sustainability, the green movement and also artificial intelligence (AI).

My other suggestion is to invest in research and development with leading research centres or even major car manufacturers to look into the future of our car industry.

Meantime, send some of our best brains to be attached to major car manufacturers to pick their brains on future trends in the industry. If there is a future for us, then we decide.

At the same time, stakeholders in Proton have to change their way of doing things. Learn from Perodua and other success stories. Move away from sentiments and protectionism. We abhor Donald Trump for his decision to impose tariffs.

While Trump thinks he is winning, the EU and Japan signed a landmark deal that will eliminate nearly all tariffs on products they trade. This is a good example of mitigating or solving major problems.

There must be a steely and undeterred determination for us Malaysians to be world-beaters and the only person at this point in time that can help show us the way is, YOU.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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