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Proton Holdings Bhd has officially announced that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to become its chairman effective May 16, 2014. Dr Mahathir will also be chairman of Group Lotus plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Proton.

The former PM’s appointment will see Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil step down as Proton executive chairman. He will, however, remain on the Proton board.

“We at DRB-Hicom are extremely humbled and honoured by the acceptance of Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr Mahathir, a man with profound experience and knowledge of the industry,” said Khamil, who is DRB-Hicom Group MD.

“He has accepted the position; willing to spend time and effort to take on the challenges and arduous tasks that Proton faces.”

Proton’s newly-appointed CEO, Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah, said: “Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr Mahathir will now be able to dedicate more of his time at Proton as Chairman, which will certainly continue to strengthen Proton in its mission to become a globally recognised automotive player.”

“We look forward to the invaluable leadership and guidance from Yang Amat Berbahagia Tun Dr. Mahathir,” Harith added.