TANJUNG MALIM: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has assured that the government will continue to assist Proton to enable it to move forward and be known globally.
He said the government’s commitment to the national automotive company, under his leadership, had always been clear.
“The revival of Proton will always be the Barisan Nasional led-government commitment.
“Therefore, do not worry because the we will never let Proton to ‘disappear’,” he said at the launch of National Automotive Cluster (NAC) at Proton City here today.
Najib said based on studies conducted by the government on Proton’s history, it was found that problem that affected the national car manufacturer was due to its economic model that based on the spirit of nationalism and not global business, along with too much political interference.
“Therefore, we will never let Proton to sink and will restore Proton,” he reiterated.
In the event, Najib also rubbished claims that the government did not do anything to help Proton.
“The government had been helping Proton with various assistance such as loans and incentives for the past few years.
“So, if people are saying that the government is not helping Proton, it is not true,” he said.
He said the strategic partnership between Proton Holdings Bhd and China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd (Geely) was a right decision in order for Proton to move forward.
“If we continue to be at what we were before, it will not survive.
“Such partnership will allow Proton to be on the right track of development that based on new technology,” he said.
Present at the event were Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, International Trade and Industry (Miti) Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Second International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tan and DRB-HICOM Bhd group managing director Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar.
Meanwhile on the NAC, Najib said the centre is set to turn Tanjung Malim into an automotive hub.
“Tanjung Malim is a potential city that is set to become a renown automotive city in the next four to five years.
He said the government and DRB-HICOM, through MITI, have the desire to revive Tanjung Malim and Proton, as a brand that is heavily-linked to Malaysia.
The NAC, a 396ha area carved out within the sprawling Proton City development is designed to be an industrial park dedicated for local and foreign vendors. It will be developed by Proton City Development Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DRB-HICOM’s Glenmarie Properties Sdn Bhd.
Meanwhile, Syed Faisal in his speech said the development plan of NAC will include aspects such as electric car technology, green technology, the latest car battery technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and artificial intelligence.
“The development plan will also make Proton City as a hub to assemble global car brands and the most important, car production for export.”
He said the development plan will attract the public with facilities such as motocross for the youth, auto museum, auto mall, auto hub for local vendors and test track that the public can use to for high-powered cars race.