New national car, please — Saleh Mohammed

JULY 18 — Dear YAB Tun Mahathir Mohamad, I could understand your disappointment over the mostly negative response towards the Government’s initiative for a new national car. I am not sure whether you truly believe in having it or just to test the waters.

I do subscribe that Proton is said to be a failure but then we have a success story in Perodua. Having said that, I still support Proton since the very beginning. My most recent purchase is a Preve over two years ago. Sad to say, the ‘Proton car’ problems still exist.

I think, in this context, it is not proper to say that “Malaysia would become a country of consumers, paddy field planters and fishermen or forget about Vision 2020”. We have moved from there motivated by your vision and having another national car project will not necessarily help achieve Vision 2020 when we are only less than two years away.

At a time when we want to cut and save on mega projects, we do not need another headache.

Would suggest that we look at ways and means to buy back the portion of Proton sold to foreigners.

Frankly, the rakyat have moved away from being planters and fishermen but look at our politicians and decision makers. On the very first day at Parliament there was a walk out on a trivial matter that can be solved with intellectual discourse. We walk away from issues and it is not a pretty sign. Not only we cannot solve problems but we add on to the problem.

The future of motor cars may or will be different with calls on sustainability, the Green movement and also artificial intelligence (AI).

My other suggestion is to invest in research and development with leading research centres or even major car manufacturers to look into the future of car industry. Meantime, send some of our best brains to be attached to major car manufacturers to pick their brains on future trends in the industry. If there is future, then we decide.

At the same time, stakeholders in Proton has to change their ways of doing things. Learn from Perodua and other success stories. Move away from sentiments and protectionism. We abhor Donald Trump on his decision to impose tariffs.

While Trump thinks he is winning, the European Union and Japan signed a landmark deal that will eliminate nearly all tariffs on products they trade. This is a good example of mitigating or solving major problems.

There must be steely and undeterred determination for us Malaysians to be world-beaters and the only person at this point in time that can help show us the way is, YOU.

What say you?

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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