About a month ago, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad garnered a lot attention when he announced plans for a new national car at a conference in Tokyo, Japan. This announcement came in light of news that Proton was acquired by a Chinese automotive company.
The announcement received a lot of mixed reactions from Malaysians. While some welcomed the idea of another national car, others wanted the focus to be on improving our public transportation system instead.
Now, in light of the lukewarm reception to his idea, Tun M did not seem too happy judging by his most recent blog post. A translated excerpt from his post reads,
“It has come to my knowledge that nobody wants to see a second national car.”
“We are not capable of an automotive industry. Malaysians are more willing to buy imported cars from other countries like China, Japan, and Germany.”
“I still remember the standard of post-war Japanese cars back then. People used to joke that if you scratched the surface of these cars, you could see that they’re actually made of Milo tins. However, they progressed from ‘Milo tin’ standard to create world-class brands like Toyota, Nissan, and Suzuki.”
He went on to point out that countries like Japan and South Korea use their own national cars because they barred the import of foreign cars. As a result, the quality of their cars improved, along with their quality of life, economy, and engineering industries.
“Of course, this won’t happen with Malaysia, as our cars will always been made from Milo tins.”
“No matter the type of car, its country of origin, whether it is of good quality or the ‘Milo tin’ variety; (they) can all be brought into Malaysia. These are produced by giants and filled the Malaysian car market until Proton is buried.”
“In the end, Proton is sold to foreigners. There is no more national car, no more automotive industry. Workers, engineers, managers have lost their jobs. Everything deteriorates.”
“Malaysia will instead become a land of consumers, paddy farmers, and fisherman. No matter, this is what we want and what we will get. Forget Vision 2020.”
What do you think about Tun M’s blog post? Do you think that having another national car can help us progress economically? Let us know in the comments below!
Read Tun M’s full blog post here.
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