TEMERLOH: Former Proton chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's stubbornness was one of the factors, which contributed to the local car manufacturer's non-competitive performance, according to Tan Sri Annuar Musa (pix).
The Umno information chief said it was difficult to rectify the financial situation of the government-owned company as the former prime minister refused to accept the opinion of others.
"If anyone in the company mooted different ideas from his (Dr Mahathir's) views, then that person will have problems," he told reporters after opening the Kuala Krau Umno branch meeting here Saturday.
He said during Dr Mahathir's tenure, Proton had made a number of transactions, including its cooperation with Group Lotus Plc, which resulted in the company being dragged into limbo.
Dr Mahathir resigned on Thursday as Proton chairman, chairman of Group Lotus Plc, chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Petronas, and adviser to the Langkawi Development Authority and Tioman Island Development Authority.
Annuar said despite facing serious financial problems, Proton still could not avoid being “shackled” to Dr Mahathir's ideas.
He said Proton at one time had dominated 70% of the domestic car market but now, it could only gain a penetration rate of less than 30%.
"It shows that Proton has been facing a huge financial crisis throughout Tun Dr Mahathir's many years' of tenure as chairman. In fact, the government has spent huge amounts of money to make sure it continues to operate," he said.
Annuar described Dr Mahathir's resignation as the government's best chance to restore and save Proton from further losses.
He said the Proton management should be helped to manage the company in the best professional manner possible.
This included arranging a new strategy to forge partnerships with automotive companies from other countries.
Annuar said an explanation should also be given to the people, including from Proton itself, to avoid misunderstanding over the issue. - Bernama
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