KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has no objections to Volkswagen AG (VW) buying a stake in Proton Holdings Bhd as long as it remained a national carmaker.
Dr Mahathir, who is Proton adviser, said he did not know how much of Proton would be sold to VW.
“As long as Proton stays a national company, there is no problem lah,” the former prime minister told reporters after paying a courtesy call
On Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel here yesterday.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said the Government would allow VW to buy a stake in Proton as part of an alliance to help the national carmaker compete more effectively.
On his meeting with Karimov, Dr Mahathir said he had suggested closer cooperation and exchange of information between the two countries.
On Monday, Dr Mahathir urged leaders and managers to change their mindset to meet changes in the 21st century.
“To succeed, they (leaders and managers) must not always choose the beaten path.
“People who want to ambush you will always lay it along the beaten part, and if you break off and cut a path in the belukar (bush), you are not likely to be ambushed,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was speaking at the 23rd Tunku Abdul Rahman Lecture here on Malaysia Incorporated: Leadership and Management Demands in the 21st Century, hosted by the Malaysian Institute of Management and attended by some 800 corporate, government leaders and foreign dignitaries.
Dr Mahathir said the concept of Malaysia Incorporated was inspired by Japan, as the country had recovered rapidly from the devastation wrought by American bombings during World War II.
When Malaysia needed to develop fast, he said, the Government studied Japan to find out how it managed to recover speedily and decided that one of the factors was the Japan Incorporated concept, where the government and private sector worked closely.
“The private companies and all who do business with them contribute to economic growth and people benefit from economic growth in one way or another and so does the government.
“Helping the private sector succeed, to make more profits to pay more taxes is not criminal; so we decided to adopt the Malaysia Incorporated concept.
“It was a success because Malaysia’s business-friendly policy helped to stimulate investments by both domestic and foreign funds,” he said.