SEREMBAN — June 2, 2017: National car-maker Proton would lose RM1 billion annually if not restructured.
Last year the company lost RM500 million on the back of discouraging sales of only about 72,000 units or an average of 6,000 monthly.
“The government in 2016 assisted with a soft loan of RM1.5 billion and this year there was an additional request from the aspect of research and development (R&D) of RM1.1 billion.
“We are using the people’s money to save Proton as 60,000 people are dependent on the company… so how long more?” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak at a breaking of fast event and launch of phase eight of the Rural Streetlights Project at the Paroi Jaya mosque here today.
Present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin and Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
Elaborating further, Najib said the restructuring was not a decision based on emotion but one related to the life and death of the company.
“We do not want a businesses that is dead, nor one that is paralysed but a profitable business…. we cannot be proud of a national car but have billions in losses. We should be proud of a national car that turns in a profit and benefits us.
“What is important is to manage the business until it turns in a profit,” he added.
He also said that the decision regarding Proton was not a question of pride in wanting to defend the 100 per cent equity but better to just have a 51 per cent stake to ensure a profit.
“That is why we chose the better option of a reduced equity but having a profitable business and in this regard, everyone needs to understand the situation.
“We will do what is the best for the people of Malaysia and not seek to cheat them… similar to the Goods and Services Tax to strengthen the financial position.
“The GST will be channeled to the health sector, schools and more recently, RM500 as special assistance for Hari Raya to civil servants and RM250 to pensioners totalling RM1 billion,” said Najib.
The lighting project involves 4,337 streetlights in each of the eight parliamentary constituencies in the state, with Tenaga Nasional Berhad undertaking it. — Bernama