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Recently, the Malaysian government approved Proton’s application for a soft loan of RM1.5 billion. The loan does of course come with a set of terms, and it has been revealed that Proton will agree to all of them.

This includes providing a convincing business model along with a strategic plan to expand its domestic and international markets. Both will be overseen by a special task force that will be set up and it will be led by Pemandu chief executive Datuk Seri Idris Jala. It is yet unknown who will be part of the task force.

According to a report by Bernama, International Trade and Industries (MITI) minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the government will set a timeline for Proton to implement its turnaround plan. “The government will not interfere in the company’s operation, but we will monitor it based on the conditions set by the Ministry of Finance,” he said.

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When asked if the Government would bail out Proton, similar to the way it did Malaysia Airlines System Bhd (MAS), Mustapa said, “Proton’s (case) is not like (that of) MAS, it’s a private company but it produces our national car.”

“We are also taking into consideration the interest of its some 60,000 workers and vendors. This is why we’ve decided to grant them the soft loan. We hope Proton will do better as it is important for 60,000 people working under the company,” he added.

Proton is confident of its turnaround plans, and has expressed its appreciation to the Malaysian government for approving the loan. With new models like the Perdana on the way (followed by the new Persona and Saga), and its partnership with Suzuki, do you think Proton can live up to expectations?