Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad, chairman of the Backbencher’s Club says if high local content is making Proton not competitive, local content should be reduced.

“If AFTA requires only 40 percent local content, there is no need for us to go up to 90 percent, unless it makes Proton cheaper and more competitive. We have to make a rational decision. If our cars are expensive due to high local content, we need to reduce the price by reducing the local content. They have already been operating for more than 20 years. If the quality of their products is still not up to standard and cannot be exported, they should close down. If they are still not efficient, they should not be in this industry.”

The problem with our locally manufactured components is likely lack of volume which drives component prices up. We also have the problem of incompenent component manufacturers making components without proper QC. I’m sure any Proton owner curses the car’s air cond vents.

If Proton is to be truly competitive, such social responsibility towards local vendors should not be imposed on them. They should be free to source for components anywhere in the world they want, as long as it makes sense. This should give the local components manufacturers a kick in the ass and hopefully they buck up.