Mahathir Leaves Proton

News has broken about Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad resigning from his post as Chairman of the Proton Group with immediate effect. Tun Mahat...


News has broken about Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad resigning from his post as Chairman of the Proton Group with immediate effect. Tun Mahathir founded Proton when he was Prime Minister of Malaysia, and has been an integral part of the national automaker for 32 years. The letter of resignation was sent to DRB-Hicom Group Managing Director, Datuk Seri Syed Faisal Albar, on Wednesday. At the same time, Mahathir also relinquished his Chairman post in Group Lotus plc as well as several government posts. Rumours are rife that this move is part of his campaign to oust current Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak.

Mahathir once advised to not wait for the good thing to look for you, but to go look for the good thing. He founded Proton in 1983 to create a national car brand for Malaysia and build the country’s automotive industry. The first car it produced, the Proton Saga, rolled off the line in 1985.

Cabinet Minister, Rahman Dahlan, was quick to call on Mahathir – via a series of tweets - to answer for Proton’s current state. According to Rahman, RM13.9 billion worth of funds have been poured into the carmaker since it was founded but the company has been in the red for years now.

As to who will take over as Chairman of Proton, there hasn’t been any news on that yet. But another minister, Hamzah Zainuddin, said that Mahathir’s resignation will not affect the company or its sales since “The company is run by the management and the board members. So it doesn’t matter who (is chairman)” which implies that the role of chairman was nothing but a figurehead. 

image: straitstimes.com

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