Proton LogoThe Prime Minister has put the ball in Proton’s court with regards to finding a foreign partner (if Proton deems it necessary).

Commenting on the earlier this week on GM’s supposed renewed interest in Proton, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told Proton to do its own evaluation on a foreign partner and submit it to the government for consideration.

The saying goes “talk is cheap” and especially so in these flip-flop days, but this could mean either one of two things. One – the PM could have renewed confidence in the aptitude of Proton’s management, trusting them to decide on such business matters.

In previous partnership talks it looked like Khazanah Nasional was handling everything, to the point that when this news piece on GM broke in the media, Proton said partnership talks should go through Khazanah.

The other possibility is something abit more negative but interesting – the government could want to appear to wash it hands clean off Proton matters after previous talks failed.

As for GM’s renewed interest in Proton, some updates have emerged. Sources reveal that Steve Carlisle had actually told the media that it would be open to exploring partnerships including a partnership with Proton if Proton or Khazanah Nasional were to ever approach GM to renew talks, but did not specifically say GM wanted to or was happy to re-open partnership talks.

What he actually meant was GM would be open to evaluate any potential partnerships – and any interest would depend entirely on the evaluation results. The sources used by our previous report as references had jumped the gun a little.