Is Putrajaya indirectly paying Geely for Proton deal, MP asks

Tony Pua pointed out that Geely only paid RM170 million to acquire a 49.9 per cent stake, but Proton is still due to receive payments amounting to RM1.35 billion in financial aid from Putrajaya. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Tony Pua pointed out that Geely only paid RM170 million to acquire a 49.9 per cent stake, but Proton is still due to receive payments amounting to RM1.35 billion in financial aid from Putrajaya. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — DAP’s Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua today questioned if the government is “indirectly” paying Chinese automaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group to take up a major stake in national carmaker Proton Holdings Berhad.

Pua pointed out that Geely only paid RM170 million to acquire a 49.9 per cent stake, but Proton is still due to receive payments amounting to RM1.35 billion in financial aid from Putrajaya.

“Effectively, Geely is paying only RM170 million to acquire a 49 per cent stake in a company which the Government is about to inject RM1.35 billion of cash,” he said in a statement.

He referred to Finance Minister II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani’ reported remarks that the government will make a final payment of RM 1.1 billion to Proton to mark the end of subsidies from Putrajaya, on top of a RM250 million final instalment from a previous RM1.5 soft loan for the ailing national carmaker.

Pua also raised concerns that Geely has not committed any further investments to Proton to date.

“To date, there has been no mention at all of any commitment or additional investment by Geely into Proton in order to turn around the beleaguered ‘national’ car maker,” he said.

He questioned the point of privatising Proton now that Putrajaya continues providing payments for the carmaker.

“This further raises the question — if Geely fails to resuscitate Proton and gives up on the company, will the Government step in again to keep Proton on life support?” he asked.

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