Mahathir was right about Proton's sale

I don't usually agreed with the man, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the longest serving Prime Minister in Malaysia and is very much the contributing factor to the many issues in the country. 

Nonetheless, I think he was right about the Proton's sale. In fact, if you are a Malaysian and reading this, celebrating the riddance of Proton, I think you do not understand the implication of the sale of this "icon". 



An icon it is, and the sale of it signifies the end of Malaysia's heavy industrialization saga. The 49.9% stake sale to China's Zhejiang Geely Holdings Group Co caps the long search for a partner over the years. 

Mahathir called this the beginning of the great sell-out. I agreed.

Proton was incorporated in 1983 when Mahathir was the Prime Minister. Bloomberg has said that for most of its history, Proton has benefited from tariffs as much as 300% on imported cars. The billions in grants provided by Putrajaya...no doubt about that, Proton is a big failure, but a failure of Malaysian as a whole, and reflected in the country's current state. 

For anyone who put the blame squarely on the longest serving PM, I think that's a misconception. Yes, the execution of the first national car was poorly done but under Mahathir, the government has implement a policy that should enable it to flourish. 

Mahathir said all these: Come to think of it, if our country is sold to others, to the very rich people of other countries, I am sure our country will become well developed too. 

"It can even be a fully developed country exceeding the expectations of Vision 2020. It will be a great country with super highways, high-speed rail, gleaming skyscrapers, shining new towns, beautifully landscaped and lighted. 


"But I can’t be proud! Can I be proud to be living on the fringes of this great country so well developed by the buyers?"

And I think he is right. The man has a vision, for the country to create, and to lead...but unfortunately most of his people (you and I included), fellow Malaysians, look at money and wealth as the greater good. 

More land assets, Dr Mahathir said, would be sold to settle the "trillion ringgit" debt.

"That was what we did in the past. We sold chunks of our country. We lost the land we sold. 

"This is what we are doing now. And that will be what we will have to do – or forfeit our country; like we forfeit Proton.

I am not sure about you but while I lament the failure of Proton to produce world class cars as envisioned by the former Prime Minister, I too feel that the sale of Proton, is indeed, something that we should reflect on, not to celebrate. Because Malaysia is where it is today because of you and I, and we have all been part of this failure. 

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