KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government should not entertain the idea of starting another national car company as this will see the reimplementation of protectionist policies that will burden Malaysians with higher car prices, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has warned.
“The PH government should proceed with public transportation projects, such as HSR and MRT3 projects, instead of wanting to start another national car company and reimplement protectionist measures that will only burden the people with higher car prices and financing costs.
“Do not cancel such public transportation projects just because I started them and revert to projects merely based on pride that will cause greater harm to the rakyat,” the ex-prime minister said in a Facebook post.
Najib said that during his time as PM, he had made it a priority to gradually reduce car prices through a systematic reduction in taxes, and by introducing incentives while expanding public transportation projects.
“As a result, cars now cost less than when I first became PM while the use of public transportation has surged.
“In the long run, such measures to correct a legacy problem of the past will benefit the people to the tune of hundreds of billions of ringgit while providing more efficient, more cost effective, less congested and less polluting transportation options,” he said.
Najib’s comments are in response to a comment made by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Tokyo today in which he said PH was looking to introduce a new national car, as Proton, that was founded by him in 1983, had been bought by Chinese automotive manufacturer Geely last year.
Dr Mahathir also said that Malaysia might start the national car brand with another country — namely Thailand, South Korea or Japan.