ALOR GAJAH: Talks that Proton Holdings Bhd will sell 51% of its shares to a foreign company are untrue, as the final decision has not been made, said Second Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
“The Government is not relinquishing the country’s proprietary rights. We are looking at the opportunities to help Proton grow more efficiently, so that it would be at par with other big brands in the global car industry,” he said.
Ong said this to reporters after visiting Perfect Food Manufacturing Sdn Bhd’s factory at the Kelemak Industrial Area in Alor Gajah on Monday.
He said the Government was merely encouraging Proton to seek a foreign strategic partner to boost its capabilities in order to remain competitive in the international market.
“Proton is free to choose a foreign strategic partner which could offer the highest potential, either from the US, Japan, China or Europe,” he said.
Ong said Proton was currently in the midst of identifying the right partner and would announce the partnership and the merging of its plants in Tanjung Malim, Perak, and Shah Alam, Selangor. simultaneously.
“The Government will not make the announcement on Proton’s behalf, and I ask everyone to be patient.
“We hope that after this, Proton will be able to develop a motor vehicle hub which can boost Malaysia’s capability to make high-quality national cars which can penetrate the international market, especially in Asean countries,” he said.
He hoped that the collaboration would raise the national carmaker’s international manufacturing standards and increase its competitiveness in the industry.
“It would also help to boost international sales, as our current market is quite small with only 600,000 cars a year, compared to the US (17 million cars a year) and China (25 million cars),” he said.
He said Proton’s growth should not be dependent on the local market, as it would not be suffient to accommodate research costs which had to be done continuously to ensure the production of high-quality cars that would be able to compete with other brands. - Bernama