PETALING JAYA- The announcement that the Pakatan Harapan government aims to set up another national car company since Proton has been acquired by China’s Geely met with a mixed reaction, but some Malaysians had a good compromise: Make sure it’s electric.
Speaking during a dialogue at the 24th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia on Monday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the new government is thinking of starting another national car company, perhaps with an Asian country such as Thailand, South Korea or Japan as a partner.
Malaysians took to social media to either pan or praise the idea, and on Facebook, some are proposing that the new national car be fully electric.
Nurizam Khalid proposed aggressive tax incentives for electric cars, while Christopher Ng said he would support the idea if the hotly discussed national car company is “all about electric cars”.
“(The) electric car is the future, we shall shift to a greener and more intelligent option as we progress forward,” he posted on The Star Online’s Facebook page.
Mohd Shafiq Aizat said he could see a real future for the national car company if it was “full electric”.
“If it run(s) on normal petrol, why bother? Petroleum is going to be out sooner than later. And don’t forget climate change.
“More cars, more pollutants thus expedite climate change on this planet. Most developed nations are trying to save this planet,” he added.
Edwin Choo, meanwhile, accused proponents of the idea of a new national car of being stuck in the 1980s – the era in which Dr Mahathir first launched his pet project, Proton – urging an emphasis instead on new industries.
“Electric vehicles, hybrid technology and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the new frontiers … open your minds and embrace this whole new concept instead of sleeping,” he argued.
The Barisan Nasional government led by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak rolled out tax incentives for hybrids and electric vehicles in 2011, but removed them in 2014, except for locally assembled hybrids and electric vehicles.
The government then was aiming to have 100,000 electric cars on the road by 2030, and 125,000 charging stations to be built nationwide.- New Straits Times