Among all of Tun Dr.Mahathir's achievements during his 22 years of being the Prime Minister of Malaysia, apart from the Petronas KLCC, North South Highway, KLIA, Sepang F1 Circuit, Langkawi's development, MSC, and so many other developments, Proton is a subject very close to his heart!
When anyone praises or criticizes Proton, it is Tun Dr.Mahathir who feels it very deeply in his heart and soul! Proton is his brainchild.
When I attended the 'monologue' last Saturday, I could sense his attachment to the national car industry when he spoke with such a passion lambasting all who played a part in screwing Proton to becoming a liability to the present BN Government after sacking the former Proton Chief Executive Tan Sri Tengku Mahaleel, who had taken Proton to making huge profits and had been adding to the government's coffers with billions of sales tax ringgits to now being in the red and 'ridiculed' by every Ahmad, Ah Seng and Samy!
You must really view the videoclip of Tun's Century Paradise Club speech to digest what Tun had to say about Proton's current state of affairs and the one's responsible for it's slide from being one of the nation's pride of achievement to its current state for being the general public's main bone of contention!
I for one think that Tun Dr.Mahathir ought to be allowed to spill out all that has been stored in his 81 years old brain so that we may learn about the pro's and con's of all that has lead to the present stalemate of this nation's leadership quandary!
Really, Mr.Guna, if only you can arrange for a 'Dialogue' or as we all got it at Kelab Century Paradise on Saturday the 24th of June, 2006 a 'Monologue' by the Tun , this time by The Edge biznews group, I am sure that the turnout will be in the thousands if you could arrange for a bigger premise and location! Yang Mulia Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Editor of Malaysia Today.Net will surely be just too happy to help!
The whole nation is on 'the edge' to learn what the former Premier has to share with us, the voters about all these questions that you have posed to him in your "Question Time" column.
The million dollar question is whether the Tun would be willing to fulfill our wish to have a proper Dialogue this time around minus all the sideshow politicians wanting to share the spotlight on Tun as did 'Mr. Froggie' at the Century Paradise Club!
Okay back to your question.
"You went ahead with the national car project in 1983 despite a number of experts disagreeing with you, especially with respect to lack of economies of scale.
Isn't it true that Proton's profits over the last 20 years came out of vastly higher prices that the Malaysian public hs to pay to subsidise Proton, resulting in considerable hardship for Malaysians who need cars because of the poor public transport system?
More lately, why was it necessary for Proton to buy a stake in a failed Italian motorcycle manufacturer when it could not even produce cars competitively?"
Reasonable questions to ask Tun!
As a Wira owner ourselves, I find this question very relevant because the national car's high price and not that high quality compared to foreign imports which are cheaper and have better performing engines and accessories really makes me want to rally behind Mr.Guna and yell 'Yeah! Tun! Let's hear what you have to say about this?'
Really! Wira has so many things wrong with it. Sit back for I have a long list of problems that I want to dish out here publicly with regards to our 'pride and joy' national car!
- The dashboard meter. The system is all screwed up. At times when I fill up,the fuel gauge needle shows empty. When the tank is about to dry up, the fuel gauge shows full! :P So does the temperature meter. It will go up and down as it pleases! So much for our pride in the bloody Wira!
- The fragile bumper! How many times have you been driving on our roads only to see the Wira up ahead with a sagging bumper about to drop off like the disposable diapers on a baby half showing its butt because the diaper is swollen full with baby pee. The idiots who designed the bumper ought to be laid out on the highways and let us run them over with our bloody Wira's! Imagine just having a bumper for show- yeah, that's what it is -just for show! It is held up by a few spaced out clips! Yeah, just some plastic clips which snap off at the slightest bump into it by even a bicycle! No sense of protection at all if the car be involved in a crash!
- The central locking system. Everytime the weather turns rainy, the central locking system go haywire! The locks just pop up on their own and the car's not locked anymore! I have to manually push in the door locks and they stay locked for a few seconds; then pop up again as if there's a bloody 'toyol' in there playing tricks with me!
What bloody engineering is that to be proud of? Only my financial constraints keep me grumbling inside as I have to drive the bloody car daily and count my 'blessings' that at least we still have a car to transport us from point A to B without being drenched when it rains and burnt by the sun when it's the flaming hot midday afternoon solarheat!
So, in this question # 3, Mr.Guna , you have my full support in asking Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad about Proton! The quality doesn't qualify it's current prices!
Another last point of query, why the hell do we need to kowtow to the foreign market and offer the Europeans better quality export models, fully equipped with all the optional accessories, warranties, this and that and so damn cheaper than the price we Malaysians have to pay for the inferior local version?
Are we, Malaysians the perpetual scapegoats for the leader's to offer as sacrifice?
What kind of a stupid logic is that? Following the classic Malay proverb:
'Kera di hutan disusukan, anak di pangkuan mati kelaparan!' Orang lain dapat bunga, rakyat dapat tahi! Aiya!!!! Mana boleh macam ni?
Can you answer that for us ,Tun? Why the double standards?
Are you still having the 'subservient to the colonial' mentality?
For all your brouhaha against the West, Proton under your advisory seems so bloody eager to suck up to the 'Orang Putih'!
Care to share your 'monologue' with us about this Tun?....Please......