Despite having signalled the need for a merger in the automotive industry – essentially between Proton and Perodua – sometime back, the government will not force both companies to merge, according to Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, the Minister of International Trade and Industry.

In a Bernama report, Mustapa told reporters today that any solution or proposal would have to be agreed to by both stakeholders, saying that the government cannot force the companies to make a decision, given the long spectrum involved.

“At one end is loose cooperation and at the other, a merger, which has yet to be decided,” the Minister said today, adding that “it’s a major collaboration and cooperation between Proton and Perodua and not a straightforward process.”

He said that the government would encourage and have talks with both companies, adding that in reality, it made sense for the two companies to collaborate and make the automotive industry competitive.