Proton has issued a response to the public outcry of alleged unfairness in the results of the Proton MPV naming competition. The dissatisfaction is mostly related to the chosen name “Proton Exora”, which its MD Datuk Syed Zainal said was based on the Ixora flower name at the launch event. According to Syed Zainal, “Exora is a flower that blooms in a bunch, so that evokes the spirit of the MPV, which is togetherness. It demonstrates the MPV as a family vehicle and that is why we decided to pick the name.”
In Proton’s statement, it thanked members of the public for highlighting the issues and concerns related to the choice of name and understands the points being made. It clarified that the name “Proton Exora” was picked through a vigorous selection process and was chosen because it was not a name for any animal and vegetation although it had similar pronunciation as the flower, Ixora. In fact, there were 139 contest entries submitting the name Proton Ixora, and 39 entries for Proton Exora. The Ixora name was eliminated from the final selection because it was the direct spelling of the name of a flower.
The 39 people who had submitted the winning name had also chosen the name for various other reasons. The winning entry by Miss Norsholihan Bt Abdul Eanich was chosen because of the tagline “Keriangan Keluarga” or family joy. Proton felt the name and tagline represented the company’s effort to offer a vehicle which could offer family togetherness.
The controversial rule in the naming competition stated that an entry “tidak diambil daripada” the name of flora or fauna, but it appears that Proton and contestants had different interpretations of this rule. A lot of contestants who are dissatisfied right now assumed it meant any name related to flora and fauna were disallowed, however Proton’s interpretation was only a direct name of a flora or fauna is disallowed.
What’s done is done and nothing can be changed, but reflecting on the situation, what Proton should have done at the very beginning is clarify what exactly “tidak diambil daripada” meant by giving examples, because in my honest opinion it is obvious to me that Exora is “taken from/diambil daripada” the word Ixora and contestants have every right to be dissatisfied because perhaps if they had known variations or puns on flora/fauna are allowed, they could have let their creativity loose even more and may have come up with an even better name and tagline than Proton Exora.