Thursday, June 15, 2006


Too many problems . Unable to capture market , losing out to Perodua , consumers' perception that they are not up to the mark , not renewing the contract of their capable and good CEO Tengku Mahaleel , advisor of Proton Tun Dr Mahathir being advised instead of advising the management , handicapped by the post Mahathir administration , face stiff national car status rivalry with Naza , and the list goes on and on .

We have to admit that Dr Mahathir was a little hasty and instead of Mitsubishi helping us , teaching us to make our own cars , Dr Mahathir wanted a car as fast as possible from the factory of Proton in the 1980s . Proton Saga was borned , almost all the efforts were attributed to Mitsubishi . But of course , the courage of Dr M to go to the drawing board and even dare dream about making a Malaysian Car in the 1980s is truly awesome . Would you have done that ? No way ! We have to face facts that we are all slow , pessimistic , low in confidence , do not have high visions , dare not dream the extreme .

But Dr M did what we normal Malaysians dare not , could not , would not . He announced the formation of Proton . What did the many Malaysians say in the coffeeshop , kedai kopi , cafes ?

"Aiyar ... this wont happen-lah ! Malaysian made car ar ?? Are you dreaming !? "

Ahuh . That's right . Dr Mahathir was dreaming . But his dreams are what we call vision . The great thing about this vision and mission was that it came true , against all odds and sceptisms . Man ! We were so proud at that moment . Whose credits were those ? Dr Mahathir .

Today ? The Grand Master of Politics is an advisor to the 'child' he gave life to . Proton . Tengku Mahaleel did a great job as Dr Mahathir claimed , accumulating RM 2 billion in cash to have their very own brand new Production Factory in Tanjung Malim , Perak . We even have a Proton City there now . We export cars to the Middle East countries for example . If Dr Mahathir didnt provide the basis , the foundation of a car industry , will we be proud to say "Oh , this is Malaysian made car !"

When I went to Japan for student exchange , the Japanese thought that we do not have the capability to have our own car . But when I told them that Mitsubishi assisted us and now we make many models of cars to cater for Malaysians and that we owned Lotus , they were shocked and amazed . Whose 'jasa' is this ? Dr Mahathir .

And what do we get ? Dr Mahathir is claiming that Tengku Mahaleel was wrongly removed . Dr Mahathir comes out commenting that the Proton management ( at one time led by Datuk Azlan Hashim , Chairman ) was advising him instead of him providing ideas and opinions in his capacity as advisor .

At last , the stage of rebellion has arrived . A father has lost his say on his child . A father has lost power in his house . A father is being told by his son how to live his life . Where is the logic ? Where is the justice ? No one knows .

It is true that Proton is not as efficient as Mitsubishi , Toyota . Imagine a food court where there are two sellers . This will be me selling Fried Rice ( just started selling a month ago ) and another man who is selling Fried Noodles ( selling since 10 years ago ) . Does it mean that if the Fried Noodles operator who is rich and able to sell cheap fried noodles , then should I stop selling my Fried Rice just because I operate at a higher cost than him ? I certainly don't think so if you look at the time span .

Compare Proton to Mitsubishi . Mitsubishi is like the lecturer of Proton . They have been in the business for quite a while , certainly longer than Proton . Can we compare Proton's operating costs to theirs ? No way . Economically it is not right . Mitsubishi would have captured a lot of market share , adopted the cheapest cost methods over time and use the best level of technology with their huge cash treasure chest .

Proton is less than 3 decades old . 3 decades my dear friends . Ford ? Ford is around over a 100 years old ! Should we tell Proton to stand on whatever platform they are on and go grab a sword and fight with Ford ? I doubt they will be able to do so .

Imagine a baby who is just learning how to walk , let this baby be a year old . Imagine a child at 7 years old who has experienced growth of body parts , bones etc . Can the baby fight the 7 year old kid without assistance of any kind ? Unless the baby is Superman , I doubt it .

Well , in economics , we learn that rich developed countries like US normally have a growth of around 2- 3 % as they are already very much developed and there's nothing much left for them to have growth on except a few areas . Developing countries like Malaysia ( officially ranked as Contender Country , a rank higher than developing level now ) have a growth of around 6- 7 % . As time passes by , developing countries will be able to catch up with the rich developed countries ( presumably ) . I might be wrong in this theory but that's not the point . The point is , Proton , if given government assistance , will one day be able to catch up with the already established car makers like General Motors , Toyota . We will reach there one day . We must not be bias towards Proton by saying that they are not as good as carmakers like Daimler , BMW , Volvo , Honda . These are all superpowers and established carmakers . Proton is just an amateur who is just starting her march forward . Give Proton time , proper assistance , and more importantly , change your perception of Proton . Provide them with the support the way you expect your parents to support , love and care for you when you were a child . Baby Proton will soon be an adult and repay your trust in them . Baby Proton will excel .

Will they ? Maybe if things go accordingly . But the current status of Naza , presence of imported cars surge in Malaysia and other automobile issues are causing Proton's legs and hands to tied .

Whether they will survive and achieve what we would like them to achieve , it all depends on the Government of Malaysia , the Prime Minister , and of course the test of time .


Anonymous said...

i can see that you are seriously interested in politicking..Are u really going to walk the talk( whatever you ve just mentioned about what fellow malaysians should do), or are u going to just comment on these issues..or are you just simply a good writter??


lydia said...

not much point of having a local car when they are of such lousy quality!! and because the government needs to help the local carmakers, imported cars are taxed at such high rates!

Anonymous said...

haha at least we have our own car i guess tats his point =)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

muah ahahaha bastard jimmy is here destroying and giving ur blog a bad name ^^ revenge.. come knocking on door 149 and i will give ur ass a kick with a slap left n right on ur "faeces"

del said...

Hoho your photo looks funny.


Anyways the latter half of your post reminds me of something The Economist might write (if ever they get around to mentioning Malaysia and Proton; right now the topic of choice would be General Motors I imagine). And despite the protectionistic measures for imported cars, can I please just say this to Lydia: Cars in Malaysia are SO MUCH CHEAPER than in Singapore!!

Anonymous said...

'Our own Car', a pride or a shame.......
Quarreling so much.......
if the car are so good, lets export to first world country and kill more ppl in car accidents.......
the whole is full of rubbish, another one is not that much to fill here.......
Plz support recycling projects...... for the next generations

Anonymous said...

Failure is not an option.
My dear students, plz study hard in the foreign land and come home and serve the nation well, perhaps, the national car company~
wawasan 2020 is in your hands~

sueann said...

5more days!!! yay willy comin back!!=)