Malaysians have sacrificed enough for Proton
YOURSAY | ‘Third world or first world, my family's safety comes first.’
Swipenter: Former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, please reconsider flogging a dead horse, errrr, car. After more than three decades of protectionism, Proton is not even a brand outside Malaysia. In Malaysia, the Proton brand is synonymous with sub-quality.
The quality of Proton cars has improved over the decades but others too have improved, by leaps and bounds.
Most highways and other big infrastructures have been privatised, so please don't treat us like dummies. High taxes on imported cars are to protect Proton and to enrich the Approved Permit (AP) holders.
Imagine one AP can be sold for RM30,000 and what do the benefactors of such schemes do for the local economy but perpetuate the rent-seeking class of AP holders of milking the car owners?
Krissman: Third World or First World, my family's safety comes first. Driving a Proton means that my family will not fare well in a collision.
Only god knows how many Malaysian's lives could have been saved if only the safety features are improved and incorporated as with other makes of cars.
Asking us to support a local industry which is your baby is one thing, but asking us to put our safety and that of our family's ahead of your cockamamy venture is too much.
We Malaysians have done our service to you by paying exorbitant price for all your ideas.
Hplooi: The key in an 'industry' (be it in steel or cars) is the supporting specialist industry. Can Mahathir provide a list of Proton sub-contractors?
Support industries include brake system, wiring harness, on-board electronics, etc. Are any of them positioning themselves as key regional players and even developing their own indigenous technologies?
In the early days, the easiest contract (wiring harness) was given out to cronies. But despite over 20 years, our wiring harness industry is nowhere near 'significant' and the Thais have overtaken us in the automotive support industry.
What's the point of having a national car where its key parts are foreign and local parts sub-standard or when Thailand can manufacture a 'foreign' branded car with higher local content than Proton.
So the real issue is that crony suppliers will be the one to suffer, not the Malaysian public. And in the regional context, a real specialist supplier will survive even without Proton.
Anonymous 1032351442384485: Mahathir's undying support of Proton had prevented free market to function and had caused untold burden on Malaysians since the 1980s.
1) Malaysian are forced to pay overpriced, imported cars or accepting crappy Malaysian-made cars.
2) Instead of channelling the APs to government’s coffers to build transport infrastructure, the APs are given to a few cronies to make them billionaires.
3) The government neglected to build public transport in the 22 years of Mahathir’s premiership to support Proton sales, and this has created current traffic jams and lost productivity.
4) Protectionism of Proton caused Malaysia to lose out to Thailand as the automotive production hub of Asean.
5) Billions of rakyat's money paid annually to the inefficient auto industry could have being used more productively to simulate the real economy.
Anonymous_1421406986: Car manufacturers like Honda and Toyota have built solid reputation over the years and each time they encounter major or minor defects, the manufacturers own up to it and recall the cars for replacement and correction.
Tell me, how times since Proton cars came into the market where defects were detected and corrected?
The last time we heard from the Proton adviser was that consumers have a wrong perception about Proton cars and that past mistakes have been corrected. How did all these begin? What measures were taken to improve the quality and performance of the cars?
Is it not a bit too late to build confidence for the car? Obviously shoddy work and planning have opened the market for foreign cars to court local market.
There is obviously an absence of patriotism by the manufacturers. I hope the Proton adviser is not proposing an increase in import tax.
Sinan Belawan: Dr M should refer to the Failed State Index (FSI) which includes security, human rights, poverty, public services, etc.
There is no correlation between car ownership and a failed state. If Dr Mahathir had remained in power longer, he may have dragged Malaysia to failed state status sooner.
Unspin: On my return journey from Muar to Kuala Lumpur today, I saw three Proton Sagas (latest model) that had only two out of three brake lights in working order. All three of them had identical problems - the right-hand side rear brake lights were faulty.
I am not sure whether this was a coincidence or whether it was due to a manufacturing defect, like the infamous power window problem.
If it was indeed a wiring problem, it is unacceptable because after burning billions of ringgit of taxpayers’ money and pushing the price of cars to disproportionate levels vis-a-vis our income, the quality of Proton is still inferior to the foreign brands.
Mahathir, it is not shameful for our country not to have a national car, but it is definitely shameful that after 30 years, your pet project is still a ‘pet’ instead transforming into a tiger.
Malaysians have sacrificed enough for Proton, so now let us put Proton to SLEEP, and let it RIP,