Government should continue to support Proton

In an expected turn of event after a year of continuous failure of stunts to oust Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad resigns as Chairman of BoD Proton.

March 31, 2016 • MEDIA RELEASE


Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad has resigned as Chairman of Proton Holdings, effective March 30, 2016.


A letter of resignation has been sent to Group Managing Director of DRB-HICOM Berhad, Dato Seri Syed Faisal Albar yesterday.

Dr Mahathir has also relinquished his post as the Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Petronas, also effective Mar 30, 2016. His decision has been communicated to UTP Rector Datuk Abdul Rahim Hashim.

Apart from that, Dr Mahathir has also resigned as the advisors to the Langkawi Development Authority (LADA) and the Tioman Island Development Authority (TIDA). The Chief Secretary to the Government has been informed of these resignations.

Office of Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad
31st March 2016


Tun Dr. Mahathir was appointed Advisor of Proton when DRB-Hicom took over in 2012. From May 2014, he took over the Chairmanship of the Proton BoD from then Group Managing Director of DRB-Hicom Bhd. Tan Sri Mohamed Khamil Jamil, who remained as a BoD member.

The Star story:

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 | MYT 5:58 AM

Dr M confirms appointment as Proton chairman

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that he will be appointed Chairman of Proton Holdings Bhd.

The official announcement is expected to be made on Wednesday.

“My plan is to work with Proton, and make it (Proton) a success,” he told reporters before the Asian Banker Annual Leadership Achievement Awards Dinner 2014 here on Tuesday night.

A news report on Tuesday said that Dr Mahathir will be appointed Proton Chairman, which was seen as DRB-Hicom Bhd’s boldest move in its effort to transform Proton’s sliding fortunes since it took the company private in 2012.

Since going private, DRB-Hicom has been trying to address its slide by focusing on radical transformation measures for Proton’s management.

The appointment of Dr Mahathir is due to his deep knowledge and influence in the industry and government.

Dr Mahathir, who is also the current advisor to the country’s pioneer carmaker since retiring as Prime Minister in 2003, however, did not comment on whether the current executive Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil would withdraw from his post.

The news report also said that Dr Mahathir will also be appointed as Chairman of Proton’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Lotus Plc, and was understood to have accepted both appointments.

At its peak, Proton, which had produced more than 3.5 million vehicles from its plants in Shah Alam, Selangor, and Tanjung Malim, Perak, held up to 85 per cent of the domestic car market.

However, a combination of factors including liberalisation of the domestic market with the influx of cheap foreign imports, competition from Perodua and the revised National Automotive Policy, among others, contributed towards Proton’s slide.

Currently, Proton’s domestic market share stands at about 22 per cent. – Bernama


Since the DRB-Hicom takeover from Khazanah, Proton already saw four different Chief Executives, namely Dato’ Lokman Ibrahim, Tan Sri Khamil, Dato’ Abdul Harith Abdullah and very recently, Dato’ Mohamed Fuaad Kenali.

In the same period, Proton saw the launch three of its brand new and indigenous products, Preve’, Supirma and Iriz, did not take of well and cornered the market as what was expected despite the product performance and goodies offered.

It is believed that since DRB-Hicom, the corporation which started as a national car project 33 years ago aggregated RM2.5billion in losses. Naturally, the shareholders are very edgy with Proton, which is pulling down their net earnings YE2013-2015.


As a Chairman of BoD Proton which is part of the DRB-Hicom Group, Tun Dr. Mahathir should be working for ways to entice more assistance from Prime Minister Najib instead of attacking him, even it is matters not related to the company.

DRB-Hicom as a Group benefited a lot from the continuous business and support of the Federal Government. An example is Deftech. Many of DRB-Hicom automotive plants are located in Pekan, the constituency of Prime Minister Najib.

It is the right thing to do for the Fourth Prime Minister because as the Chairman of the BoD for a company which benefitted to an aggregated sales of RM1 billion over three years, he shouldn’t be over-zealous about ousting Prime Minister Najib.

Last October, Tun Dr. Mahathir even pronounced that RM would overnight be better if Prime Minister Najib summarily steps down. Today, after gradual improvement RM was at 3.89 against the Greenback, despite the is no signal of PM Najib even thinking of resigning.

The Statesman tried various stunts through different channels to get PM Najib, but nothing is even gaining traction. In his sordid desperation, he even took PM Najib to court.

The Federal and State Governments and GLCs should continue to support Proton in as a preferred vendor, now that the BoD member who has been rabidly instigating the rakyat to topple the Prime Minister is gone.

It’s time to move on. So much time, energy and resources wasted already.

*Updated midnight

Published in: on March 31, 2016 at 17:30  Comments (5)