tokpa-iriz-ev-1

In an announcement today, the Malaysian government has approved national carmaker Proton’s application for a soft loan of RM1.5 billion. It’s said that this would help the company pay its vendors for components already supplied.

The loan comes with strings attached, of course. International Trade and Industries (MITI) minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said that the government has set several conditions for Proton to meet, including the company having to “convince the government” of its new business model.

Aside from the mandatory turnaround plan, Proton will also have to provide a strategic plan to expand its domestic and international markets. “A special task force will be set up and it will be led by Pemandu chief executive Datuk Seri Idris Jala. This team will overlook Proton’s transformation plan and to ensure that it is successful,” Mustapa told the New Straits Times.

The said task force will have six representatives – one each from the Finance Ministry, International Trade and Industries Ministry and Economic Planning Unit (EPU), plus three from the private sector, which will be identified at a later date.

Mustapa also mentioned that the government is aware that the automotive industry is a “strategic industry,” and that Proton currently employs around 12,000 employees, with over 50,000 more tied to its vendor companies.