Dr Mahathir: I want to make Proton a success

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  • Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, who is also the Honourary President of the Perdana Leadership Foundation, sharing a light moment with recepients of the Foundation's inaugral Research Awards in Putrajaya, yesterday. - THE STAR/RAJA FAISAL HISHAN

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed that he is taking on the non-executive post as chairman of Proton Holdings Bhd, giving the former prime minister greater clout at the struggling carmaker from his current role as adviser.

He will be replacing the current executive chairman Tan Sri Mohd Khamil Jamil.

“My plan is to work for Proton, make it a success,’’ he told reporters when met at the Annual Leadershiop Achievement Awards Dinner 2014.

Mahathir has been a staunch supporter of the national car company since it was established in 1983 and was appointed adviser at Proton in 2003 after he stepped down as prime minister.

In 2012, DRB-Hicom Bhd took Proton private after buying out Khazanah Nasional Bhd’s stake.

Over the last five years, Perodua has been able to defend its market share by keeping costs low without compromising on quality. However, Proton has seen a deterioration in market share in the past 18 months.

According to sources, year-to-date, the sales of non-national marques have been on the rise, eating into the market share of Proton. Proton has sought government grants to come out with new models.

Earlier this month, Proton appointed Datuk Abdul Harith Abdullah as its chief executive officer.

and announced that it would be undergoing a restructuring of its operations and would start rationalising its export programme.

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