2016 Proton Perdana 1

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has said that with the end of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s political interference in Proton, the national carmaker is expected to be on track to return to its “golden era.”

During the former Proton chairman’s time, Najib said that there had been too much political interference in Proton’s strategy management including of personnel and business model, as mentioned in a statement released by the Prime Minister’s office.

“Now, I am pleased to say, there have been significant changes at the top levels of Proton. Tun Mahathir’s era of political interference has come to an end. We saw the results of that early this year. A manufacturer which should be a source of national pride was facing a very difficult situation,” he said at the launch of the new Proton Perdana.

Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the Government had to provide assistance to Proton in the form of a RM1.5 billion soft loan to protect Malaysian jobs, families who rely on Proton, as well as the company’s business partners’ income and livelihoods.

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“We stepped in because the well-being of the people is always our first concern. We will never fail to support Malaysian workers and suppliers. We will always fight to ensure that no one is left behind,” he clarified, adding that Proton will use the lessons it learned to reinvigorate its potential again.

“I am told that in anticipation of its launch, 900 units of the Perdana were pre-booked – which shows the confidence that people have in this new model, and their desire for Proton to succeed. Proton’s new management tells me that they are confident that customers will not only like the Perdana’s elegant looks, they will also love the drive,” said Najib, as reported by Bernama.

“I am looking to getting behind the wheel myself before too long! Let the new car, and the new management of Proton, be judged on their merits. I know that we all wish them every success in growing their sales, in leading in innovation, and ensuring the company has a bright future, both in terms of its products and the well-being of its hard-working employees,” he added.