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“Dr. M’s Attitude Affected Proton”

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TEMERLOH: Former Proton Holdings Bhd (Proton) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s “stubbornness” was among the factors that affected the firm’s performance, according to Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

He claimed this was why the Government had not been able to improve the financial situation of the local car manufacturer.

“If anyone in the company mooted different ideas from his (Dr Mahathir’s) views, then that person would have problems,” Annuar told reporters after opening the Kuala Krau Umno branch meeting here on Saturday.

Dr Mahathir quit as Proton chairman and all other posts on Thursday.

Under Dr Mahathir, he said Proton had made several deals such as linking up with Group Lotus Plc, “which resulted in the company being dragged into limbo”.

Annuar said despite facing serious financial problems, Proton still could not shake itself off Dr Mahathir’s ideas.

He said Proton had at once commanded 70% of the domestic car market, which was now reduced to less than 30%.

“It shows that Proton has been facing a huge financial crisis throughout Dr Mahathir’s many years as chairman.

“In fact, the Government spent huge amounts to make sure it could continue to operate,” he said.

Annuar described Dr Mahathir’s resignation as the Government’s best chance to restore and save the national auto maker from further losses.

He said Proton management should be helped to manage the company in the best professional manner possible, including drawing up a new strategy to forge partnerships with automotive companies from other countries.

Annuar also called for an explanation, including from Proton, to the people to avoid any misunderstandings over the issue. — Bernama

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